New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Minister V. Senthil Balaji has knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court, challenging his arrest in alleged cash for jobs scandal after the Madras High Court’s decision upholding the ED’s right to take him into custody.
On Friday, a bench of Justice C.V. Karthikeyan, the third judge to whom the matter was referred, gave the ruling that the central agency has the right to arrest the DMK leader.
It said that if the agency can arrest, they can also seek custody as well.
The habeas corpus petition challenging arrest of Balaji by the Enforcement Directorate was heard by a three-judge bench on directions of the Supreme Court after a split verdict was pronounced by a division bench on the plea moved by the legislator’s wife.
In a split verdict delivered on July 4, Justice J. Nisha Banu termed the arrest of the minister illegal and ordered him to be set free with immediate effect, while Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy differed on the question of his “illegal” detention.
S. Megala, the wife of the arrested minister had moved a petition before the high court assailing her husband’s arrest by the central probe agency in connection with a cash-for-jobs scam that allegedly occurred during his tenure as the Transport Minister from 2011 to 2016 in the then AIADMK government.
In an interim direction passed on June 15, the High Court had ordered to transfer the minister from a government hospital where he was under the custody of ED officials to a private hospital. The ED filed an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging this.