ED conducts raid at Karti Chidambaram's Delhi, Chennai homes

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There is no FIR against me or my son in the Aircel-Maxis case. In 2011, Aircel's former head, C Sivasankaran, complained to the CBI that he was being forced by the then Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran to sell Aircel to the Malaysia-based Maxis Communications group. He lives in Chennai. "They were embarrassed and apologetic that they found me as the occupant but they had no option but to complete the search". In Chennai also they recovered nothing. The raids, which began at 7.30 am, are being conducted in five separate locations in the two cities.

ED on Thursday had issued fresh summons to Karti Chidambaram to appear before it on January 16 after he failed to appear before the agency.

He said he had no objection to their conducting searches because they had warrants but questioned the ED's jurisdiction in the matter. In the absence of a scheduled crime and there are no proceeds of the crime, the ED has no jurisdiction under PMLA. In today's search, they thought Karti lives here. They found nothing. Since they have to justify, they came here. They are photocopies of the statement made in parliament. "The raid concluded at 10:45 am", Karti's lawyer Arun Natrajan told media in Chennai.

The Congress, too, was critical of the action against its senior leader and termed the ED raids "a malicious vendetta" by PM Narendra Modi and his government against senior Congress leaders.

The ED had, in May past year, registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Karti and others.

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The ED had lodged an Enforcement Case Information Report against the accused named in the CBI complaint, which included Karti, INX media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, among others.

Later, Subramanian Swamy alleged that in 2006, a company controlled by Karti received a 5 per cent kickback as a part of Rs 5,000 crore paid by Maxis for a 74 per cent stake in Aircel.

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