In a major setback to former finance minister P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected his plea for an anticipatory bail in the INX money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The court agreed with the plea of the ED that Chidambaram should be taken into custody for interrogation.
"Anticipatory bail cannot be granted as a matter of right. It is to be exercised sparingly in the cases of economic offences which constitute a class apart. Grant of anticipatory bail at initial stages may frustrate the ongoing investigation," said the court.
The senior Congress leader has already spent 15 days in CBI custody.
While rejecting his plea, the apex court added that Chidambaram was free to apply for regular bail to seek any further relief. The court said that the accused can approach trial court for regular bail and also expresses displeasure over the HC judge for copy-pasting from agency note in his judgement of cancellation of anticipatory bail applications of Chidambaram.
The order was reserved by the Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna on August 29. While reserving the order, the Court had extended Chidambaram's interim protection from arrest in the ED case until Thursday.