Approved it on FIPB’s proposal: Chidambaram on Aircel-Maxis case

New Delhi: Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday defended himself on the CBI charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis case and said that the agency “leaked it to a newspaper for a media trial”, adding that he approved the deal on the basis of an FIPB proposal.

“The CBI leaks its charge sheet to one newspaper because it wants a trial by the media. Fortunately, under our legal system, the trial can take place only in a court of law,” Chidambaram said on Twitter.

“It is the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that decides if a proposal falls within the competence of the Finance Minister. The FIPB put up the proposal to me and I approved it along with 20 other proposals,” the senior Congress leader added.

A news report by Times of India (TOI) said that the CBI charge sheet claimed that Chidambaram did not grant FDI approvals “mechanically” but there was “due application of mind” and that he used to raise queries but he “deliberately ignored prevailing guidelines while deciding the Aircel-Maxis case” to avoid sending it to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

On August 24, the Enforcement Directorate had quizzed Chidambaram in the Rs 3,200-crore Aircel-Maxis deal case.