Chidambaram slams ED for raids at son Karti's premises

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Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday called the Enforcement Directorate searches of a property in Jor Bagh in New Delhi a "comedy of errors", as his son, Karti, is not an occupant of the house.

It had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED's equivalent of a police FIR, against the accused named in a CBI complaint, including Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.

"Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued notice on the cases filed by my son Karti Chidambaram".

Speaking to media on ED raids, the senior Congress leader said that "There is no FIR concerning a scheduled crime by CBI or any agency".

The raids took place after Chidambaram failed to appear before the ED. The raids have come after December 1, 2017, raids which were conducted on the premises of Karti Chidambaram's relative and other people associated with him.

Those searched include a chartered accountant linked to Karti, his personal assistant and Karti's residence at Thousand Lights area in Chennai, they said.

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Chidambaram said the ED has "no jurisdiction" to conduct such searches under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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

It is said that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board FIPB in 2006 granted approval for the Aircel-Maxis telecom deal when Mr Chidambaram was the finance minister.

The ED has alleged that Karti has "disposed" of a property in Gurgaon, which he had allegedly rented out to a multinational company "to whom foreign direct investment (FDI) approval had been granted in 2013". 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".

Karti is alleged to have received Rs 3.5 crore from Mumbai-based INX media, now 9X Media, for helping it get the FIPB clearance when it was run by the Mukerjeas.