Karti Chidambaram, the son of Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to the alleged money laundering in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The summons were issued to Karti Chidambaram on Tuesday under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He has been asked to provide details of $2 million received by him from Maxis during the 2G scam period, ANI reported.
Karti Chidambaram is under the scanner after two firms — Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited and Chess Global Advisory Services — linked to him were found to have allegedly violated the PMLA, PTI reported.
Karti Chidambaram has been given a week's time to respond, but he has apparently sought more time from the probe agency, PTI added.
Chennai-based telecom service provider Aircel was acquired by Malaysian telecom network Maxis Communication Berhard (Maxis) in 2006 via a 74 percent stake.
The Aircel-Maxis deal is being investigated as part of the larger 2G probe by multiple Indian agencies for financial irregularities in allocating spectrum in January 2008. The probe and subsequent court proceedings led to the Supreme Court cancelling 122 licences issued to telecom operators by the then Congress-led UPA government.
Chess Global Advisory Services was searched in a joint operation by the ED and the Income Tax department in December last year. A firm linked to Karti Chidambaram had allegedly sent Rs. 26 lakh to Aircel Televentures, the holding company of Aircel.
The Aircel-Maxis deal was also allegedly influenced by DMK minister Dayanidhi Maran, a former telecom minister under the UPA government. He is believed to have "coerced" Aircel promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stake to firms linked to Maran's Sun Network.
"The investigation under PMLA was taken up and it revealed that proceeds of crime of Rs 742.58 crore was paid by the companies based in Mauritius for Dayanidhi Maran, in the two companies namely SDTPL and SAFL," the ED said, according to a PTI report published in January this year.
This charge was earlier contested by Maxis, saying Sivasankaran was a "willing seller and was not coerced into parting with it."