Aircel-Maxis deal: Swamy moves SC seeking probe into Chidambaram’s role1 min read . Updated: 10 Feb 2017, 02:44 PM IST
The Supreme Court directed Swamy to submit concrete material to support his claim within two weeks
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe into the role of former finance minister P. Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006.
The application was brought before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, who directed Swamy to submit concrete material to support his claim within two weeks.
“Show us material indicating that the then finance minister was privy to the new investment rule. We are ready to issue notice to the smallest and also the biggest person, but there must be material to support such claims," said CJI Khehar.
Swamy submitted that the Aircel-Maxis deal, which consisted of a foreign direct investment (FDI) of over Rs600 crore, was passed by then FM Chidambaram through clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
He added that in a situation where the FDI is anything above Rs600 crore, the clearance should have been obtained from the cabinet committee on economic affairs and not the FIPB. It was also claimed that a foreign company was not allowed to hold more than 74% equity in an Indian company at the time when the deal had taken place in 2006.
“A non-telecom company was created to get the remaining 26% stake in Aircel so that Aircel could directly/indirectly get 100% equity in Aircel," Swamy told the court.
The court was hearing a plea filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), a non-profit organization led by advocate Prashant Bhushan. CPIL had sought to restrain Aircel from trading spectrum granted to it in 2006. Aircel concluded two deals in 2016 with Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Communication Ltd for sharing spectrum.
74% of Aircel is owned by Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Bhd.