A bench led by Justice Arun Mishra directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to complete the probe within six months, observing that "you can not keep the people of the country in the dark". Both the investigative agencies have been criticised by the apex court after they failed completely the 2G investigation within 6 months and submit a report.
Justice Mishra told attorney-general K.K. Venugopal "it is a very important case and the country must know the results, whatever may be the decision". Why is this investigation taking too long? "No stone shall be left unturned". "Let those difficulties be placed on record", said the order, released late in the evening, highlighting the possibility of a "hidden hand" behind the delay.
The CBI had said in its charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis case that Chidambaram had granted FIPB approval in March 2006 to Mauritius-based M/s Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Maxis, owned by Ananda Krishnan, who is also an accused in the case.
If the probe is taken to its logical conclusion then Mr Chidambaram may be in trouble for granting approval.
In the Aircel-Maxis deal, the FIPB approval was supposed to go to the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs.
However, the CBI and ED cases in the Aircel-Maxis deal could not withhold judicial scrutiny as the special 2G court had in February a year ago discharged Dayanidhi Maran, his industrialist brother Kalanithi Maran and others saying the alleged charges were based on "misreading of official files", speculation and surmises of the complainant. This petition is pending in the apex court.
ED also found that a company promoted by Chidambaram's son Karti and nephew A Palaniappan allegedly received $2 lakh from the Maxis Group in the guise of software consultancy.
The ED is also looking into the money laundering aspects of the Aircel-Maxis deal. The Malaysian government has also refused to participate in the probe despite letter rogatories.