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Interim Bail denied to TN Minister V. Senthil Balaji by court in Chennai

V Senthil Balaji, the Minister of Tamil Nadu State Electricity, was denied interim bail on Friday by a court in Chennai.

S Alli, principal judge of the City Civil and Sessions Court in Chennai, granted the request for the minister’s custodial interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), who is currently receiving treatment at a private hospital in Chennai.

According to Judge Alli, Balaji will continue to receive medical care at the Kauvery Hospital, and the emergency department can question the minister there.

The judge gave the ED eight days to conduct such a custodial interrogation and told the agency to bring Balaji in front of the court via video conference on June 23.

Despite being in the hospital, Balaji was taken into custody by the ED in connection with a money laundering case.

The Sessions Court noted that the minister was already receiving the necessary medical treatment, and given the “seriousness and gravity of the offence” that he is alleged to have committed, a case for grant of interim medical bail was not made in the present case, while rejecting Balaji’s plea for medical reasons for interim bail.

The ED took Balaji into custody in connection with a cash-for-job case.

The minister went to a government hospital with chest pain shortly after the arrest, where he had a coronary angiogram on Wednesday.

The following day, Judge Alli went to the hospital to check on Balaji’s health before deciding on June 14 to remand the minister in judicial custody until June 28.

On June 15, the Madras High Court granted the minister’s request to move to Kauvery Hospital, a private facility.

After Balaji’s wife filed a Habeas Corpus plea with the High Court, this order was issued.

Even though Balaji has no objections to answering the ED’s questions, Senior Advocate NR Elango stated that he would inform the High Court that the Principal Sessions Judge’s order granting ED custodial interrogation amounted to “judicial impropriety” since the High Court had stated that Balaji would remain in judicial custody.

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