SC reserves verdict on Chidambaram's bail plea in INX-Media case, ask ED to submit investigation reports in sealed cover

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on the plea filed by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram seeking bail in the INX-Media money laundering case.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi, asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to submit in a sealed cover the relevant documents related to the case, which the probe agency wants to place on record for perusal of the court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, told the court that Chidambaram continues to wield "substantial influence" on crucial witnesses even from custody and opposed his bail plea.

The ED told the court that it had identified 12 bank accounts in which proceeds of crime were deposited, and 12 properties that were purchased in several countries.

"Economic offences are grave in nature as they not only affect the economy but also shake people's faith in system," the ED said.

Chidambaram had sought bail in a case pertaining to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 by Chidambaram when he was the Finance Minister. He was arrested by the ED on October 16 and is currently in judicial custody.

Denying bail to Chidambaram in the case, the High Court had stated that prima facie allegations against him are "serious in nature" and he played an "active and key role" in the offence.

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