The ED on Thursday opposed in the Supreme Court the bail plea of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case saying the accused continues to wield "substantial influence" on crucial witnesses even from custody.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), told a bench headed by Justice R Banumathi that economic offences are grave in nature as they not only affect the nation's economy but also shake people's faith in the system.
"Chidambaram is so powerful that he continues to have substantial control over crucial witnesses even when he is in custody and he will certainly try to tamper with evidence," Mehta told the court.
Countering Sibal's submission on Wednesday that Chidambaram is not Ranga-Billa, the Solicitor General said just because he has nor committed an offence like Ranga-Billa and therefore, he should be granted bail does not hold good.
Mehta told the bench, also comprising justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, that during the investigation, the ED has identified 12 bank accounts in which proceeds of crime were deposited and the agency also has details of 12 properties which were purchased in several foreign countries.
The apex court is hearing an appeal filed by 74-year-old Chidambaram challenging the Delhi High Court verdict denying him bail in the case.
(With PTI inputs)