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PSJ Court extends Senthilbalaji’s judicial remand till July 12

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Chennai: A Principal Sessions Court on Wednesday extended till July 12, the judicial remand of Tamil Nadu Minister V.Senthilbalaji, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case and now convalescing after a bypass surgery.

Prinicipal Sessions Judge Ms Alli extended the judicial remand after Mr Senthilbalaji was produced from the Kauvery Hospital, where he had underwent bypass surgery, via video conferencing.

Earlier, after his arrest, the Judge, while dismissing the bail plea of the Minister and the one seeking to cancel his judicial custody, had on June 16 granted ED 8 day custody of Senthilbalaji for interrogation and directed it to produce him before the court on
June 23 via video conferencing.

Since Mr Senthilbalaji was undergoing treatment at the hospital the ED could not question him in custody, hence he was not produced before the court after the expiry of the custodial remand.

Today, after the expiry of his judicial remand, the Judge extended it by another 15 days till July 12 and the Minister was expected to be in hospital since he had underwent a bypass surgery.

The Minister had on June 21 underwent a bypass surgery at Kauvery hospital in the city, where he was shifted on the orders of the Madras High Court on June 15.

The Minister was arrested on the early morning of June 14 by the ED after 17 hour long raids at his Official residence and at his Chamber in the State Secretariat and remanded in judicial custody till today.

While being taken in a car to the ED office for interrogation, the Minister had complained of chest pain and was rushed to Omandurar Government Multi super-speciality Hospital where an angiogram had revealed three blocks in his blood vessels and doctors advised a bypass surgery at the earliest.

On a habeas corpus petition filed by his wife seeking a direction to shift him to Kauvery hospital, where he been regularly taking treatment prior to his arrest, the court allowed it after which he was shifted to the Kauvery hospital.

In the meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Governor R.N.Ravi, while allocating the portfolios held by Mr Senthilbalaji to Ministers Thangam Thennarasu and S.Muthusamy on the recommendations of Chief Minister M.K.Stalin, however, disagreed with his continuance in the State Cabinet as he was facing criminal proceedings.

The Opposition parties in the State also demanded that he should be removed from the Cabinet.

However, the Tamil Nadu government issued an order stating that he would continue to remain in the State Cabinet as a Minister without portfolio.

Challenging this two pleas were filed in the Madras High Court, which after stating that it could not pass any orders, adjourned the matter to July 7 for further hearing.

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