The Madras High Court has delivered a significant verdict affirming the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) authority to take Minister Senthil Balaji into custody. The court’s decision, reached after a split verdict, supports the ED’s right to detain the minister. This development comes in the wake of Senthil Balaji’s arrest in connection with a cash-for-job scam. Here are the key details and implications of the Madras HC’s ruling.
Upholding ED’s Right to Detain
In a highly anticipated ruling, the Madras High Court upheld the Enforcement Directorate’s right to take Senthil Balaji into custody. Justice CV Karthikeyan, who was tasked with resolving the split verdict, concurred with the decision of Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy. Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy had previously ruled in favor of the ED, stating that the minister could be held in custody. Justice Karthikeyan, in line with the verdict, confirmed the ED’s authority to detain Senthil Balaji.
Grounds for Custody
The bench emphasized that the respondents, in this case, the Enforcement Directorate, possess the right to take custody of individuals for further investigation. Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy further clarified that Senthil Balaji should be incarcerated after his discharge from the hospital. Notably, the judge deemed the Habeas Corpus Petition as not maintainable, stating that the petitioner failed to demonstrate any grounds for invalidating the remand. The ruling allows Senthil Balaji to continue receiving treatment at a private hospital, Kavery Hospital, until his discharge or for a maximum of 10 days, after which he will be transferred to a prison or government hospital for further treatment.
Habeas Corpus Petition and Arrest Controversy
During the court proceedings on July 4, Justice Nisha Banu, delivering a split verdict, deemed the Habeas Corpus Petition maintainable and directed the police to release Balaji immediately. The Habeas Corpus Petition was filed by Minister Senthil Balaji’s wife, Megala, asserting that the Enforcement Directorate’s arrest of her husband was unlawful. However, the latest ruling by the Madras HC affirms the ED’s legal grounds for the arrest, upholding the charges related to the cash-for-job scam.
Medical Intervention and Bypass Surgery
Following Senthil Balaji’s arrest, he experienced chest pain during questioning by the ED, prompting his transfer to the Omandurar Government Hospital. Medical professionals determined that he required urgent medical intervention, including bypass surgery, leading to his transfer to Kavery Hospital. Senthil Balaji successfully underwent bypass surgery at Kavery Hospital.
This ruling by the Madras High Court has significant implications for the ongoing investigation into the cash-for-job scam and sets a precedent for the ED’s authority to take individuals into custody. Further updates on this case will be provided as they become available.
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