The Supreme Court (SC) is set to deliver the verdict on Congress leader P Chidambaram`s bail plea in the INX Media money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday (December 4).
The case was last heard on November 28 by an SC bench headed by Justice R Banumathi and on that day the apex court had reserved judgement on Chidambaram's plea challenging the November 15 verdict of the Delhi High Court rejecting his bail petition.
On November 28, the ED was also allowed by the top court to submit three sets of sealed covers in the two volumes. "The Registry is directed to receive the sealed cover and keep them in safe custody for perusal of the court, if required," the court had said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the ED, strongly opposed Chidambaram's bail request and said that the former Union Finance Minister is extremely influential even from custody.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi, appearing for the senior Congress leader, told the SC bench that the central probe agency cannot orally prejudice the apex court against granting bail to their clients.
While arguing for Chidambaram's bail, Sibal told the ED that it should show one property, one bank account and one telephone call, which can prove that Chidambaram was involved in money laundering. Sibal insisted that "the entire case is nothing beyond allegations".
On the other hand, Mehta told the SC bench comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy that during the probe the ED had unearthed 12 bank accounts where proceeds of crime were deposited by Chidambaram. Mehta stressed that economic offence is a separate class of offence graver than murder.
Chidambaram was first arrested on August 21 by CBI in the INX Media corruption case but he granted bail on October 22 by the apex court. He was arrested by the ED on October 16 in the money laundering case related to INX Media case.