01/12/2015 2:15 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Chidambaram's Son Karti's Firms Raided By Enforcement Directorate In Aircel-Maxis Case

The Enforcement Directorate and Income tax department on Tuesday conducted raids at firms of Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, according to Times Now.

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.

In the Aircel-Maxis case, ED had in December 2014, 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.

According to CBI, Dayanidhi Maran had arm-twisted C Sivasankaran, owner of Aircel, a mobile company, to sell his stake to the owner of a Malaysian company, Maxis, who in turn invested in Kalanithi Maran’s Sun Direct. Following the transaction by Sivasankaran, Maxis allegedly routed Rs 599 crore to Sun Direct. The Enforcement Directorate, as part of these investigations, attached properties of Maran brothers worth about Rs 722.48 crore.

As the 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 a major investment from Malaysian firm Maxis and the ownership had changed. Karti has, through a slew of several holding companies, alleged investments in several companies including Vasan Eye Care.

P Chidambaram has repeatedly denied any connection of his son with the Aircel-Maxis deal. In 2012, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee defended him and denied any wrongdoing by Chidambaram or his family members. "A malicious onslaught," was how Chidambaram described the raids. " If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics," he said in a statement.

BJP had alleged that Advantage Strategic was controlled by Karti through his company, Ausbridge Holdings, where he had 94% equity. Ausbridge had bought a 66% stake in Advantage Strategic.

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