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Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today alleged in the Madras High Court that the Enforcement Directorate proceedings against his son Karti under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had been launched to cause political embarrassment to him.
He made his submissions in an affidavit before Justice B Rajendran who reserved orders on a petition filed by Karti challenging the summons issued by the ED seeking his appearance in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal of the 2G scam.
The judge reserved orders after hearing elaborate arguments by senior Supreme Court counsel Gopal Subramaniam on behalf of Karthi Chidambaram and Anand Grover for ED.
Chidambaram in his affidavit claimed that the ED lacked jurisdiction under the PMLA to proceed against his son and contended that CBI had not found any offence under any law in respect of FIPB approval over which his son was being probed.
"No scheduled offence exists, proceeds of crime do not exist and thus the respondents (ED) absolutely lack jurisdiction under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to proceed further," he said.
He further said, "I regret to submit that the proceedings initiated against the petitioner (Karti) have been undertaken in order to cause political embarrassment to me and besmirch my
reputation and that of my family members."
In the petition filed on his behalf by his power of attorney N R R Arun Natarajan, Karti sought to quash the ED's August 19 summons contending that it was motivated by malice in law.
He said he had reasons to believe that there had been determined campaign to bring discredit and harm to the reputation of his father Chidambaram.
ED's probe against Karti pertains to firms identified as Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited and Chess Global Advisory Services Pvt Ltd, where he had been a Director, and a few others for alleged violations under PMLA.
The ED had told the court that further probe relating to the FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal and related issues were subject of further investigation under the anti-money laundering laws.
The agency had also told the court that further probe relating to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal and related issues are subject of further investigation under anti-money laundering laws.
Chidambaram, during whose tenure as Finance Minister in
2006 the FIPB approval was given, submitted that the approval matter was investigated by the CBI fully and the agency had submitted its status reports to the Supreme Court.
He said CBI had recorded his statement in 2014 December and that of FIPB officials.
"In their statements to the CBI, all the persons affirmed that the approval was granted by FIPB and recommended to the Finance Minister for his approval in accordance with the guidelines. The Finance Minister granted approval in the ordinary course of government business."
Chidambaram pointed out that the charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis case was filed on August 28, 2014 and the statements in respect of the FIPB approval from the officials concerned were recorded thereafter in the course of further probe under CrPc.
"It is thereafter that the status reports were filed in the Supreme Court. The CBI has not found or reported any offence under any law in respect of the said FIPB approval," he submitted adding thus no offence was made out.