New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate told a court here on Thursday that former finance minister P Chidambaram, lodged in Tihar jail in the INX Media corruption case, is not required to be arrested at this stage in the money laundering case.

Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar was informed by the ED that Chidambaram is already in judicial custody in the CBI's corruption case and not in a position to tamper with the evidence.

ED said it will take him into custody in the INX Media money laundering case at an appropriate time. The court was hearing Chidambaram's plea to surrender in ED's money laundering case.

The Apex court has rejected Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail stating that at this stage it would “hamper probe”.  

"Anticipatory bail has to be exercised sparingly in cases of economic offences. Considering the facts and circumstances, this is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail," the Supreme Court said in what comes as a setback for Chidambaram, who has spent 15 days in CBI custody.

The top court further said that the investigating agency has to be given sufficient freedom to conduct its probe, and the grant of anticipatory bail at this stage would only hamper investigation.

The Enforcement Directorate has accused Chidambaram of money-laundering in the case involving INX Media, which is being investigated by the CBI.

The CBI accused Chidambaram of misusing his position as finance minister of the country in 2007 while facilitating a huge infusion of foreign funds in INX Media at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram.