SC allows ED to conduct custodial interrogation of TN minister Senthil Balajitext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has declined Tamil Nadu Minister Senthil Balaji's plea challenging the ED's power to arrest him, and it has granted permission for the ED to question the Minister under custody for five days, starting from August 7.
Senthil Balaji challenged the ED in the apex court in connection with the money laundering case. A bench comprising Justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh ruled against Senthil Balaji and his wife Meghala Balaji, allowing the ED five days of custodial interrogation.
The apex court's decision comes after a series of legal battles following a split verdict delivered by a two-judge bench of the Madras High Court on July 4.
The Madras High Court's initial ruling had created a divergence of opinion, with Justice Nisha Banu ordering the release of Minister Senthil Balaji, while Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy held a differing stance. The case took a turn when Justice CV Karthikeyan was appointed as the third judge, upholding the arrest and rejecting arguments questioning its legality.
Senthil Balaji, who held the portfolio of Minister for Transport during the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) rule between 2011 and 2015, was arrested in connection with an alleged cash-for-jobs scandal.
The arrest took place on June 14 and was followed by a medical emergency as he complained of chest pain. He underwent bypass surgery at Kauvery hospital after being initially taken to Omandurar government hospital.
Senthil Balaji was moved to Puzhal central prison in Chennai, where he received 'A' class prisoner status and continued his role as a member of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin's cabinet without a portfolio.