NEW DELHI (IANS) – Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram now faces arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media case after the Supreme Court on Thursday refused his plea to grant him anticipatory bail.
A bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi said: “This is not a fit case for grant of anticipatory bail. Investigating agency has to be given enough freedom to probe.”
The court,cmaking an observation on the economic offences, said these offences are serious in nature and anticipatory bail has to be an exception when the investigation are ongoing in such cases.
The court expressed apprehension that the accused if given bail may tamper with the evidence and destroy the money trial.
The court observed the grant of anticipatory bail at this stage would hamper the investigation, and therefore the accused may move regular bail before an appropriate court.
Chidambaram is under the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the INX Media case since his arrest on August 21.
Replying to Chidambaram’s lawyer’s contention contesting the submission of documents in sealed covers in the court, the judge said that the court can peruse the documents in sealed covers to consider bail, etc., “but won’t do this on this case so as not to prejudice the case of the accused”.
Though, the court also noted that the right to anticipatory bail cannot be a subject matter of fundamental right under Article 32.