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Justice Sunil Gaur said Mr Chidambaram's involvement in the case has been prima facie revealed, and anticipatory bail cannot be granted just because he is an MP. He also rejected the former minister's claim that he was being targeted by the BJP-led centre for political reasons.
"It is preposterous to say that the prosecution of Chidambaram is baseless, politically motivated and an act of vendetta. It is a classic case of money laundering," the judge said, adding that the hands of investigating agencies cannot be tied up in such a "massive economic offence".
The court further said that the "magnitude and enormity" of material produced by the investigating agencies "dis-entitles him from any pre-arrest bail". Mr Chidambaram had been "uncooperative with investigations and evasive in his replies", he added.
The former Union Minister came under the scanner after probe agencies accused his son, Karti Chidambaram, of receiving kickbacks in exchange for allowing INX Media, a television company, to receive foreign funds amounting to Rs 305 crore under the UPA government in 2007.
The Supreme Court did not accord Mr Chidambaram an urgent hearing for his appeal against the Delhi Court order. "We came to court and requested Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. He said please move the senior-most judge (in the morning)," Kapil Sibal told mediapersons.