T.N. Minister Senthilbalaji arrest | Madras High Court judge recuses himself from hearing Minister’s wife’s petition

Justice M. Sundar said Justice R. Sakthivel wanted to recuse himself from hearing the case; the case may now not get heard on June 14, 2023; the Minister’s wife had moved the petition alleging that the Enforcement Directorate had not followed due procedures before arresting her husband

Updated - June 15, 2023 09:53 pm IST

Published - June 14, 2023 03:24 pm IST - CHENNAI 

Tamil Nadu police stand guard at the Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital, Omandurar Estate in Chennai on June 14, 2023 after the Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise Minister V. Senthilbalaji was admitted to the hospital, following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate

Tamil Nadu police stand guard at the Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital, Omandurar Estate in Chennai on June 14, 2023 after the Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise Minister V. Senthilbalaji was admitted to the hospital, following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Efforts taken by Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise V. Senthilbalaji’s wife to get the Madras High Court hear a habeas corpus petition against her husband’s arrest, by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), did not fructify on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 because one of the judges in a Division Bench recused himself from hearing the case.

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When the petition was about to be listed before Justices M. Sundar and R. Sakthivel on Wednesday afternoon, the second judge in the Bench decided to recuse himself from the case. As per standing instructions, the High Court Registry would have to receive the recusal order and list the case before another Bench, comprising Justices J. Nisha Banu and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy.

Justice R. Sakthivel

Justice R. Sakthivel | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

However, since the procedure would take time, Senior Counsel N.R. Elango, rushed to the Chief Justice S.V. Gangapurwala’s court and made a mention for urgent listing of the case. The Chief Justice said that it could be done only on the administrative side after he rises from the court on completion of his cause list for the day.

Due process

Earlier in the day, while making a mention for urgent hearing of the HCP before the Division Bench led by Justice Sundar, the Senior Counsel had accused the ED of having arrested the Minister without following due process of law. He said, the arrest intimation was not given to the family members of the Minister.

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