Aircel-maxis deal: Classified scam report seized from PC home

| | New Delhi
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Aircel-maxis deal: Classified scam report seized from PC home

Thursday, 08 February 2018 | J Gopikrishnan | New Delhi

A copy of a classified CBI report meant for submission in the Supreme Court in the Aircel-Maxis scam was recovered from former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s bedroom by the Enforcement Directorate during its recent raid on his Jor Bagh residence in Delhi. The sensational recovery of document has shocked the CBI, which has started an internal probe to track the “moles” within.

Sources said the CBI Director has ordered the internal probe after ED alerted that during its raid on Chidambaram’s residence on January 13, they found a copy of the CBI’s draft status report. The CBI was to place the detailed status report in a sealed cover before the Supreme Court’s 2G Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy on January 23. On the last date of hearing on January 4, the Judges insisted that CBI should file the status report on January 23. However the January 23 hearing did not take place as one of the Judges was on leave.

From December 15 onwards, the Supreme Court has repeatedly expressed its displeasure on the delay in the Aircel-Maxis probe. On January 4, when the CBI sought more time to file the status report, the court gave the deadline of January 23. The CBI filed the status report on January 22, but the hearing did not take place. It’s obvious that Chidambaram was privy to the report before the agency placed it in the apex court.

According to sources, the draft of the status report was leaked to Chidambaram by a serving Joint Director of CBI in connivance with an IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre.

Chidambaram acknowledged the seizure of the CBI’s draft status report and also put his signature on the receipt of seized materials handed over to him by ED investigators. But he did not satisfactorily answer how the CBI documents came to his custody, sources said.

The draft report details Chidambaram’s role in the scam and his collusion with then Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran in illegally executing the Aircel-Maxis deal. The report also spoke about the statements of Finance Ministry officials on the role of Chidambaram in approving the Maxis’ takeover of Aircel without sending the files to Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

CBI’s internal vigilance team is checking the role of officers from Superintendent-level in the Delhi’s Anti Corruption Branch on the leakage of the draft status report. CBI’s top brass first started doubting the “existence of moles within” when it’s look Out Circular (lOC) against Chidambaram’s son Karti was 'leaked’ after which he approached the Madras High Court for cancellation of the circular.

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