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CBI names NSE chairman in fresh charge sheet in Aircel-Maxis case

Overall, the CBI has named 18 individuals under section 120-B read with section 7, 12, 13(2) read with 13(1) D of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

July 20, 2018 / 08:23 AM IST

NSE Chairman Ashok Chawla has been named in a fresh charge sheet filed on July 19 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Aircel-Maxis case. Chawla is the former Secretary of Economic Affairs.

The charge sheet filed at Delhi’s Patiala House Court names former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram as accused in the Aircel-Maxis deal. Overall, the CBI has named 18 individuals under section 120-B read with section 7, 12, 13(2) read with 13(1) D of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

As Chawla is the NSE chairman, sources told Moneycontrol that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) would take cognisance of the matter and will look at whether or not to allow Chawla to continue holding the post.

Chawla is a non-executive chairman at Yes Bank and had taken over the post on October 30, 2016.

NSE is already under the scanner in the co-location case, where market regulator SEBI initiated enforcement action against various entities on June 21.

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Meanwhile, the CBI charge sheet claimed that the former finance minister was aware of the Aircel-Maxis deal. The senior Congress leader later said that the investigation agency was pressured to file the case against him.

The charge sheet mentions Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals in the deal. The CBI alleged that two illegal payments were made as kickbacks to two firms reportedly owned by the former finance minister’s son, Karti.

According to sources, “Chess Management was paid Rs 87 lakh by Maxis Associates. When CBI asked Chess Management why the money was paid, the company claimed it provided ELCM software [to Maxis]. But they could not provide a copy of the software to the agency and the payments were made during the contemporaneous period.”

Chidambaram's role came under the scanner of investigation agencies in the Aircel-Maxis deal apparently worth Rs 3,500 crore and INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore, it was reported.
Tarun Sharma

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