Jailed Tamil Nadu minister shifted from Chennai hospital to prisontext_fields
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a cash-for-jobs case, has been moved from a private hospital in Chennai to the Puzhal Central Prison.
The minister, who has been granted 'A' class facilities, will receive the stipulated amenities in compliance with prison norms, including necessary medical check-ups.
Senthil Balaji was arrested by the ED on June 14 and his remand was extended until July 26 by a local court. Following his arrest, he was hospitalised and recently underwent coronary bypass surgery at a private hospital. On Monday, he was transferred from the hospital to the Puzhal prison under police security.
The incarceration of Senthil Balaji comes after the Madras High Court upheld his arrest in the money laundering case and his subsequent remand in judicial custody. The case originated from a cash-for-jobs scam, with the police filing FIRs and the ED registering an Enforcement Case Information Report. The ED arrested Senthil Balaji in connection with the money laundering aspect of the scam.
Justice C V Karthikeyan, appointed as a third judge to hear the Habeas Corpus petition filed by Senthil Balaji's wife Megala, concurred with the conclusions of Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy, who had ruled that Senthil Balaji should continue treatment at Kauvery Hospital until discharge or for a period of 10 days. If further treatment is required, it can be availed at the prison or prison hospital, reported PTI.
In the split order delivered on July 4, 2023, Justice Nisha Banu held that the ED did not have the power to take custody of Senthil Balaji and that the Habeas Corpus petition was maintainable. However, Justice Chakravarthy ruled that the ED had the power to take custody and that the period of treatment undergone by Senthil Balaji could be excluded from the remand period.
Justice Karthikeyan agreed with Justice Chakravarthy and left it to the Division Bench to determine the first date of custody and the days for which exclusion should be granted in the remand period. The matter will be assigned to the Division Bench for necessary orders.