15 Jun 2023 12:10 PM GMT
The Madras High Court today denied interim bail to Tamil Nadu Minister Senthil Balaji but allowed his family's request to transfer him to a private hospital — Kauvery Hospital, for treatment.The bench of Justice J Nisha Banu and Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy passed the orders on the habeas corpus petition filed by Meghala, Balaji's wife. The court said that since a challenge has been raised...
The Madras High Court today denied interim bail to Tamil Nadu Minister Senthil Balaji but allowed his family's request to transfer him to a private hospital — Kauvery Hospital, for treatment.
The bench of Justice J Nisha Banu and Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy passed the orders on the habeas corpus petition filed by Meghala, Balaji's wife.
The court said that since a challenge has been raised in the manner of his arrest, the question would be whether all the procedures have been followed and whether there was any illegality. The court said that it would take up the petition and issued notices to the respondent authorities to be returnable by June 22.
"No question of enlarging him on bail. He shall continue to be in judicial custody. Since petitioner pleads he has a regular physician at private Kauvery hospital in the city, his prayer for shifting him there from the government hospital can be granted," the court said.
The court also noted that in matters concerning health, one should be allowed to get treatment at a place of his choice.
"In matters of health, getting treatment in a hospital of one's choice can be allowed" Justice Chakravarthy said while allowing his transfer to Cauvery Hospital.
The court noted that since both the doctors at Omandurar Government Hospital and the ESI doctors have suggested immediate treatment to Balaji, it would be better of he is given such treatment. At the same time, the court said that the medical expenses should be met by Balaji himself.
Since ED had objected to Balaji's transfer to a private hospital, the court, while allowing the transfer, also directed that the team of doctors constituted by ED can regularly monitor Balaji's treatment at the private hospital.
Balaji was arrested by the Enforcement Directions after an 18-hour long extensive search and interrogation conducted on June 13 at his official residence, his official chamber at the State Secretariat and his brother's residence. Following the search, at early hours on Wednesday, Balaji was arrested by the ED.
The searches were conducted in connection with a Cash-for-job Scam which allegedly occurred during Balaji's tenure as the Transportation Minister under the AIADMK regime between 2011-2016.
The Madras High Court, in November last year had ordered a fresh inquiry into the scam observing that there were irregularities. The High Court, at that time, had also dismissed a discharge petition by the Minister noting that there were enough materials for framing of charge and that the case impacts the society.
Thereafter, the Supreme Court set aside the High Court order and also set aside a direction of the High Court staying the ED proceedings. The top court gave a nod to the agency to go ahead with the investigation by including the offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Case Title: S Megala v The State and others
Citation 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 167
Click here to read the order