Aircel-Maxis: Court grants time to ED, CBI to file status report on LRs to UK, other nations

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) A Delhi court has granted till February 26 to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI to obtain report on Letters Rogatory (LRs) from the UK and three other countries in relation to their ongoing probe in the Aircel-Maxis matter against former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti.

The agencies informed Special Judge M K Nagpal on Monday that besides United Kingdom, response to the LRs is awaited from Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius.

During the hearing, senior advocate Sonia Mathur informed the court on behalf of the ED that despite issuance of reminder on January 7, 2021 no response has yet been received from the authorities concerned in the UK to the LR issued earlier.

She said though the queries raised by the authorities concerned in Singapore to the LR were duly replied to by the ED through a letter on January 7, their response not been received yet.

ED's special public prosecutor N K Matta said:“Though the Mauritian Authorities provided certain documents/ evidence which are still being examined, the Malaysian Authorities had refused to provide the requisite information.” After hearing the submissions, the judge said, “In view of the above, the matter is directed to be listed on February 26, 2021 awaiting the status report regarding execution of LRs and also for arguments on the point of cognizance.” The matter is at the stage of taking cognizance.

A Letter Rogatory is a formal communication in writing sent by the Court in which action is pending to a foreign court requesting judicial assistance. The most common remedies sought by LRs are service of process and taking of evidence. The court had on December 2, last year expressed displeasure over delay in completion of probe in the matter.

The agencies have sought adjournment of the matter several times before.

The case relates to alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The approval was granted in 2006 when P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister.

The CBI and the ED had alleged that Chidambaram, as finance minister, had granted approval to the deal beyond his capacity benefiting certain persons and received kickbacks. PTI UK SA