ED says Senthilbalaji is faking illness, wants him back in custody on discharge from hospital

Updated - June 20, 2023 12:18 pm IST

Published - June 19, 2023 08:05 pm IST

Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji reacts while being taken to a government hospital after his arrest in connection with a money laundering case, in Chennai, Tuesday night, June 13, 2023.

Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji reacts while being taken to a government hospital after his arrest in connection with a money laundering case, in Chennai, Tuesday night, June 13, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on June 19 moved the Supreme Court against the transfer of Tamil Nadu Minister V. Senthilbalaji, an accused in a money-laundering case related to a job scam, of “feigning illness immediately upon arrest” and getting himself admitted in a private hospital on the very first day of remand in a bid to render the investigation “otiose and meaningless”.

The apex court listed the case for hearing on June 21.

Appearing before a Vacation Bench led by Justice Surya Kant on Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for ED, said it wanted Mr. Balaji back in its custody as soon as he was discharged from the private hospital. In the meanwhile, the ED said the time he spends in the private hospital should not be deemed as “effective custody”.

Under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an accused is kept in police custody for 15 days, effectively for interrogation, from the date of arrest. Following this period, the accused is remanded into judicial custody. Mr. Balaji was arrested in the early hours of June 14.

The ED accused Mr. Balaji of shifting to a private hospital to avoid the 15-day police custody and questioning.

Bengal panchayat polls | SC to hear plea against Calcutta HC order directing deployment of Central forces

The Supreme Court on June 19 agreed to urgently hear petitions filed by the West Bengal Government and the State Election Commission against a Calcutta High Court order on June 15 to deploy Central security forces within 48 hours ahead of the panchayat elections in the State.

There are around 63,229 gram panchayat seats, 9,730 panchayat samiti constituencies, and 928 zilla parishad constituencies. Further, there are 61,636 polling booths and 44,382 polling premises in West Bengal.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Surya Kant and M.M. Sundresh, on a mention made by senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, for the State Election Commission, and advocate Sunil Fernandes, for the West Bengal Government, agreed to hear both their appeals on June 20.

Ms. Arora said it was up to the State Election Commission to make the threat assessment, booth-wise. She said the High Court had erroneously intervened and passed a blanket order to the State Election Commission (SEC) to “requisition the deployment of central forces for all districts in the State of West Bengal”.

Ms. Arora argued that the High Court had no jurisdiction to give the SEC a two-day deadline to comply with its June 15 order.

“There was an interim order passed by the High Court on June 13. On June 15, the High Court reiterated this order… There was no opportunity for us to even put up an affidavit… Please take it up tomorrow,” Ms. Arora submitted.

Wanted in India, Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar shot dead in Canada

Canada-based Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, one of the most-wanted terrorists in India who carried a cash reward of ₹10 lakh on his head, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in the north American country, officials here said on Monday.

A resident of Bharsinghpur village in Punjab’s Jalandhar, Nijjar was found dead inside a car with bullet wounds in the parking lot of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, of which he was the head, in Surrey around 8:27 pm (local time) on Sunday, they said.

Quoting preliminary information, the officials said Nijjar was shot by two unidentified assailants and died on the spot.

When his body was being moved from the scene by the Canadian police, a group of Sikhs raised pro-Khalistan and anti-India slogans, according to the officials.

Nijjar was one of the most-wanted terrorists in India for his alleged involvement in terror activities in the country.

U.S., China pledge to improve relations, resume high-level talks after Blinken’s visit

The United States and China have pledged to stabilise their worn out ties during a critical visit to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met on June 19 with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It remains to be seen whether the two countries can resolve their most important disagreements, many of which have international financial, security and stability implications.

Apart from a willingness to talk, there was little sign that either was prepared to bend from hardened positions on issues ranging from trade to Taiwan, to human rights conditions in China and Hong Kong, to Chinese military assertiveness in the South China Sea, to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

At the meeting with Mr. Blinken, President Xi pronounced himself pleased with the outcome of Mr. Blinken’s earlier meetings with two top Chinese diplomats and said the two countries had agreed to resume a program of understandings that he and President Joe Biden agreed to at a meeting in Bali last year.

“The Chinese side has made our position clear, and the two sides have agreed to follow through the common understandings President Biden and I had reached in Bali,” Mr. Xi said.

That agenda had been thrown into jeopardy in recent months, notably after the U.S. shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon over its airspace in February, and amid escalated military activity in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. Combined with disputes over human rights, trade and opiate production, the list of problem areas is daunting.

But Mr. Xi suggested the worst could be over.

Indian naval submarine and Pakistani ship visit Sri Lanka at same time

The Indian naval submarine ‘Vagir’, the latest indigenous Kalvari-class submarine of the Indian Navy, on June 19, began its four-day visit to Sri Lanka at the same time a Pakistan naval ship docked here.

The Indian High Commission said its operational visit is to commemorate the ninth edition of International Day of Yoga (IDY) under the theme of “Global Ocean Ring”.

The Commanding Officer of the Indian Naval submarine, Commander Divakar. S will call on Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Suresh De Silva. Further, during the submarine’s visit, the vessel would be open for visitors and school children.

The High Commission of India in coordination with Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre is scheduled to organize a grand event at Colombo Port to celebrate IDY on 21 June 2023 with the participation of senior defence hierarchy and personnel from Indian and Sri Lanka Navies, the mission said in a press release.

The Indian naval ships Delhi, Sukanya, Kiltan, and Savitri have previously visited Colombo.

Visits by Indian Navy ships and submarines in Sri Lanka aim to foster brotherhood and togetherness between the two neighbouring navies in keeping with India’s vision of ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’, the release said.

In brief

A public interest litigation petition (PIL) has been filed in the Madras High Court questioning the propriety of allowing V. Senthilbalaji, arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on June 14 in a money laundering case, to continue in the Cabinet as a Minister without portfolio despite him being in judicial custody.

Olympian C.A. Bhavani Devi on June 19 created history by progressing to the semifinal of the Women’s sabre event at the Asian Fencing Championships in Wuxi, China, assuring India its maiden medal at the event. Bhavani stunned reigning World Champion Misaki Emura of Japan 15-10 in the quarterfinals to script history. Misaki had won the women’s sabre gold medal at the 2022 World Fencing Championships held in Cairo.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.