Chidambaram terms ED raids as 'comedy of errors'

Chidambaram also noted that he had somehow anticipated the raids and was expecting, 'the ED has to conduct some drama in order to cover up some track.' Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 13, 2018, 10.01 AM (IST)

Former Union Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram termed ED's raid on his son Karti Chidambaram's residence as ''a comedy of errors". 

While speaking to reporters at Delhi's Jor Bagh today, the minister described the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to have "no jurisdiction" to conduct such searches under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). 

He also noted that the ED, having found nothing out of the raids, took away a few documents to "justify themselves". 

"They (ED officials) searched and found nothing but since they had to justify themselves they took papers of a statement made by the government in the Parliament, a few years back. The ED has no jurisdiction to investigate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," Chidambaram noted.

He also spoke about the absence of an FIR or any Police agency.

"Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued notice on the cases filed by my son Karti Chidambaram. These cases have been filed some time ago, notices were issued yesterday and the respondents were asked to file their reply if they wish to and the cases posted for hearing on January 30. The main ground in the case is that there is no FIR in respect of a scheduled crime registered by any police agency including the CBI," said Chidambaram.

Chidambaram also noted that he had somehow anticipated the raids and was expecting, "the ED has to conduct some drama in order to cover up some track," after the notices were issued by the SC.  

"They came to search the premises in Delhi's Jor Bagh and offices and told me they believed that Karti Chidambaram was the occupant of the house I told them otherwise," he noted. 

 P. Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram's residences in Delhi and Chennai were raided by the Enforcement Directorate earlier today with respect to the Aircel-Maxis case.

The raid took place at around 7.30 a.m and involved five officials.

Chidambaram's approval to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) last year, in Airtel-Maxis case, was found to be beyond his mandate by the ED.

The amount of FIPB approval was found as wrongly projected to conceal the facts.

The company promoted by Karti and P Chidambaram's nephew was found to have allegedly received two lakh dollars from the Maxis Group.

The Aircel-Maxis deal refers to a series of alleged kickbacks in the telecom sector which was part of the wider 2G scam. 

(With inputs from agencies)