New Delhi: After former union minister P Chidambaram moved an anticipatory plea in a special CBI court on Tuesday for protection from arrest in the Aircel Maxis money-laundering case, he was granted interim protection until the next hearing on June 5.
The court has directed the Enforcement Directorate to refrain from taking any coercive action against Chidambaram in the matter till then.
The senior Congress leader has been directed to be present at the upcoming hearing.
Another senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, also a former minister, represented Mr Chidambaram in court.
The former finance minister is under ED’s scanner for a foreign investment clearance granted in 2006 to the Aircel-Maxis deal, when Mr Chidambaram was Finance Minister in the Congress-led central government.
The CBI had arrested P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram in connection with the case in February this year.
According to CBI charge-sheet, Mauritius-based Global Communication Services Holdings, a subsidiary of Maxis had sought approval for an investment of $800 million in Aircel.
CBI claims that the deal should have been cleared by cabinet panel led by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but instead the finance minister at the time, P Chidambaram granted the approval.
In a separate accusation, CBI has also claimed that ₹ 26 lakh was paid by Aircel Televentures Limited to a company allegedly linked to Karti Chidambaram days after the approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are probing the alleged money laundering in Aircel-Maxis case.