A Delhi court Wednesday expressed displeasure over delay in completion of probe in Aircel-Maxis matter against former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti while granting two more months to the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate to do so. Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar allowed both the agencies’ plea seeking more time to obtain report on Letters Rogatory (LRs) form the UK and Singapore in relation to their ongoing probe in the matter, and said it is lingering on unnecessarily”.
The court adjourned the matter, which is at the stage of taking cognizance, for February 1. The agencies have sought adjournment of the matter several times before.
While seeking more time to complete the probe, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for both the CBI and the ED, informed that the LRs have been sent to the countries and report on it is awaited. ”Two LRs were sent – one to Singapore and another to United Kingdom. There is no progress on the LR sent to UK but Singapore has raised queries regarding the nature and assistance sought by the ED. It is in the process of finalising the response to their queries,” he told the court.
”We seem to be quite close to receiving response on LR sent to Singapore. One adjournment may be given so that we can come back to you (judge) with a more positive answer,” he added. To this, the Judge retorted, ”It is lingering on unnecessarily.
The judge then allowed the agencies to continue their efforts in respect for LRs and adjourned the matter for February 1. LR is a formal communication in writing sent by the Court in which action is pending to a foreign court requesting judicial assistance.
The most common remedies sought by letters rogatory are service of process and taking of evidence. The case relates to alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The approval was granted in 2006 when Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.
The CBI and the ED had alleged that Chidambaram, as finance minister, had granted approval to the deal beyond his capacity benefiting certain persons and received kickbacks.
First Published: IST