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Aircel Maxis case: Delhi court allows FIPB ex-Chairman to travel abroad

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New Delhi, June 8 (Ajit Weekly News) A Delhi court on Wednesday allowed the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) former Chairman Ashok Kumar Jha, who is an accused in the Aircel Maxis case, to travel abroad from June 23 to July 14.

Jha is one of the 18 accused persons who have been charge-sheeted by the CBI on July 19, 2018. Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, his son Karti Chidamabaram, DMK leader and former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and others are allegedly involved in the case.

Jha was seeking permission to visit his daughter and family who are settled in Singapore for the last many years.

As per the CBI, during the time of the alleged offences, he is alleged to have cleared the notings and drafts prepared by his subordinates and had approved the FIBP proposal, which was ultimately approved by P. Chidambaram in his capacity as Finance Minister.

The present charge sheet has been filed against the Chidambarams and 16 other co-accused, including the applicant, in connection with the illegal gratification of Rs 26,00,444 and $1,94,831.99 for the illegal FIPB approval granted to Global Communications Services Holdings Ltd for the investment of $800 million.

The said approval is stated to have been granted by P. Chidambaram and others in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy, stated the order.

During the course of the hearing, the CBI opposed his plea citing that being an influential person, and holding a high position, Jha may misuse the above liberty granted to him and may not return back to India to face the trial.

However, the court noted that the accused was released on bail by the court on March 23, subject to certain terms and conditions including he will not leave the country without the permission of the court.

He was not arrested by the CBI in the present case and the charge sheet against him was filed without arrest. He is a retired Indian Administrative Service officer and was working as FIPB Chairman at the time of commission of alleged offences. The present case is still at the initial stage of compliance of provisions of Section 207 Cr.P.C (recognising an accused’s inalienable right at the start of a criminal trial), the court noted.

Accordingly, the court allowed the permission on furnishing a security deposit of Rs 10 lakh and directed him to comply other conditions, including maintaining contact with the investigating officer and the court.

–Ajit Weekly News

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