The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Madras High Court direction allowing the transfer of electricity minister V Senthil Balaji from a government hospital to a private hospital in Chennai. Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested the minister in a money laundering case last week.
The minister, who was undergoing treatment at the government multi-specialty hospital at Omandurar in Chennai, was transferred to a private hospital after the Madras High Court passed an interim order while hearing the habeas c
orpus petition filed by the minister’s wife alleging illegal arrest and seeking permission to transfer him to a private hospital.
Around the same time, the ED filed a petition before the Court seeking its permission to take the minister on its custody for 16 days to further inquire about the case.
But the Court granted eight days custody and imposed several conditions. Challenging the High Court direction, the ED has appealed before the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, the petition came up for hearing before a vacation bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and MM Sundresh.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, who appeared for ED, objected the High Court’s decision of passing an interim order in a habeas corpus petition filed by the minister’s wife and entertaining the petition when a person was arrested for a serious offence.
He urged the court to grant permission to the ED to take the minister in custody.
After hearing arguments from both the sides, the bench adjourned the hearing and decided to wait for the High Court’s verdict in the matter.
The matter has been scheduled for hearing before the High Court on Thursday.
The bench said, “Let’s us not assume that the High Court has taken a wrong decision in the matte.
It has only passed an interim order and it did not accept the petition. Why don’t you take up the matter with the High Court itself since it would be appropriate to continue the case there. You can approach the Supreme Court after the High Court delivers its verdict.”