ED-IT Raids Firms Linked to P Chidambaram’s Son Karti

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate and income tax department on Tuesday conducted raids at firms of Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, Times Now reported.

In August, the Enforcement Directorate had summoned two directors of Advantage Strategic Consulting, a company allegedly linked to Karti Chidambaram, in the Aircel-Maxis case. P Chidambaram has repeatedly denied any connection of his son with the Aircel-Maxis deal.

In the Aircel-Maxis case, ED had in December last year questioned former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi after the agency had probed all the financial transactions of their Sun Network group companies.

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As the then leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha in May 2012, finance minister Arun Jaitley had accused P Chidambaram, then home minister, that a firm (Advantage Strategic Consulting) owned by his family member had allegedly made payments to Aircel. This deal came up just before the telecom company had received major investment from Malaysian firm Maxis and the ownership had changed.

The issue relates to 2006 when the matter of change of ownership of Aircel was pending with then finance minister P Chidambaram. As FM, Chidambaram had approved the Maxis investment in Aircel on March 7, 2006.

A source said the ED is investigating transactions of Advantage Consulting, which had allegedly extended Rs 26 lakh to Aircel and is believed to have benefitted out of the Aircel-Maxis deal.

In 2012, after opposition attack, then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee defended his colleague and had denied any wrongdoing by Chidambaram or his family member.

BJP had alleged that Advantage Strategic was controlled by Karti through his Ausbridge Holdings where he had 94% equity holding. Ausbridge had bought shares of Advantage Strategic equal to 66% stake.