P Chidambaram
Chidambaram has already spent 15 days in CBI custody.Reuters

In a big setback for senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court has rejected the anticipatory bail plea filed by the former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is now free to arrest Chidambaram over allegations of corruption.

"Granting anticipatory bail at the initial stage may frustrate the investigation....It's not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail. Economic offences stand at the different footing and it has to be dealt with a different approach," said the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice R Banumathi, in a huge setback to the senior Congress leader.

Chidambaram, who has spent 15 days in CBI custody, now faces arrest by the ED, which has accused the senior Congress leader of money-laundering in the case involving INX Media. The apex court said that the probe agency has to be given sufficient freedom to conduct its investigation, and the grant of anticipatory bail at this stage would hamper the investigation.

Here are the list of cases against Chidambaram

Following the top court's rejection of the bail plea in the INX media controversy, Chidambaram withdrew his appeal in CBI case from the Supreme Court challenging trial court's order of sending him to CBI custody.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Chidambaram's counsel, said: "We have decided to unconditionally withdraw the petition." The apex court has granted permission to Chidambaram to withdraw his plea in INX Media corruption case.