New Delhi (IANS) In a jolt to former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant anticipatory bail to the former Union Minister in an Enforcement Directorate case involving the INX Media scam.
A bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi said: "This is not a fit case for grant of anticipatory bail. The investigating agency has to be given enough freedom to probe."
The court, making an observation on the economic offenses, said these offenses are serious in nature and anticipatory bail has to be an exception when the investigation is 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.
Replying to Chidambaram's lawyers' 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.