Comedy of errors, says P Chidambaram on ED raids against Karti

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The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday issued fresh summons to Karti Chidambaram, son of the former Union Minister, P. Chidambaram, for recording his statement in the case of alleged irregularities in the receipt and use of foreign direct investments by INX Media.

"It was a raid conducted under the provisions of PMLA", said Arun Natrajan. The ED searched the kitchen, living room and halls of the house but found nothing, he added. Reports also suggest that P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram are not in town. However, the agency chose to summon Mr. Karti Chidambaram for recording his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. "In Chennai also they found nothing, seized nothing", he claimed.

The Congress, too, was critical of the action against its senior leader and termed the ED raids "a malicious vendetta" by PM Narendra Modi and his government against senior Congress leaders.

The ED, past year had carried out similar raids at the house of a relative of Karti Chidambaram in the same case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which separately probing how INX Media got a clearance from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). However, Mr Karti's lawyer has said the Directorate has taken possession of no document during the search.

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The Airtel-Maxis case was part of the wider 2G scam that engulfed the UPA regime.

In 2011, former Aircel head C. Sivasankaran complained to the CBI that he was being forced by then telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran to sell Aircel to the Malaysia-based Maxis Communications group owned by T. Ananda Krishnan.

The agency said FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March, 2006 by the then FM even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore.

It charged that Karti had "also closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment" under the PMLA.

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