Chidambaram slams ED for raids at son Karti's premises

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The minister was responding to ED raids conducted today on multiple premises - one location in Delhi and four in Chennai - of his son Karti Chidambaram in the INX media money laundering case. The ED searched the kitchen, living room and halls of the house but found nothing, he added.

P Chidambaram termed the raids against his son "a comedy of errors" and claimed the officers were left "embarrassed" and "apologetic" as they could not find anything at his house. "We have been asked to appear before the directorate on 30 January".

Chidambaram said the ED has "no jurisdiction" to conduct such searches under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). "It's a comedy of errors that my Chennai residence and Delhi residence have been raided thrice and the ED has found nothing". No incriminating document was recovered or seized from Chennai residence of Karti Chidambaram by ED.

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to ED and CBI questioning the grounds on which the agencies were probing the Chidambarams since there is no FIR filed against them.

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

The ED is investigating the circumstances in which the deal was granted an approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2006 by the then finance minister P Chidambaram.

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. Karti Chidambaram is accused of facilitating bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction. Following the FIPB clearance, the INX Media said it had received Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Rs 46.20 million, but actually received Rs 3,053.60 million between August 2007 and May 2008, the ED said. Under the PMLA, 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".

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