The Delhi High Court on Friday denied bail to Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, saying the allegations were serious in nature and that he had “played an active role”, Bar and Bench reported.

The court noted that its observations were not conclusive in nature. “I am conscious that bail is rule and jail is exception but a wrong message would be sent to the society, if bail is granted in this case,” said Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, according to PTI. “Entire community would be aggrieved if such offenders are not booked.”

The 74-year-old leader, who was first arrested on August 21 by the Central Bureau of Investigation, has been in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody since October 17. He has been in Tihar Jail on September 5.

In October, the Supreme Court granted the former minister bail in connection with the inquiries being conducted by the CBI, dismissing its contention that he was a flight risk. The agency has filed a review petition in the top court.

On November 1, the High Court dismissed Chidambaram’s interim bail plea after medical experts said he did not require hospitalisation as his vital signs were normal. A day earlier, the court had directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to set up a board of doctors to examine the former Union minister.

The case against the former minister

The Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case in May 2017 against P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, INX Media, and the company’s owners Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.

The CBI, which is also investigating the case, has alleged that there were irregularities in the foreign direct investment clearance granted to INX Media by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board in 2007. Chidambaram was the finance minister at the time. The agency has submitted purported emails between INX Media and a company belonging to Karti Chidambaram, claiming that these emails will “prove offences committed”.

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