Supreme Court questions T.N. government’s move to arrest ex-Minister Rajenthra Bhalaji

CJI asks if action is proper when matter is pending before top court

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Tamil Nadu government why it was in a “hurry” to arrest former Minister K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji when the top court was already seized of his case.

“Is it proper for your government to arrest him when the matter was pending before the Supreme Court? Would heavens have fallen otherwise?” Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana asked the State government, represented by its Additional Advocate-General V. Krishnamurthy.

Justice Surya Kant, on the Bench, asked the State, “Is it your intention that the Supreme Court should be deprived of a hearing?”

“Why are you in a hurry?” Justice Hima Kohli asked.

Mr. Krishnamurthy said the Madras High Court had rejected Mr. Bhalaji’s plea for anticipatory bail.

“He was arrested. He has been remanded in judicial custody,” Mr. Krishnamurthy responded.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, for Mr. Bhalaji, submitted that besides arresting his client, the police had even raided his lawyers.

The court issued notice and agreed to hear the case on Monday. The Bench stayed all further orders against Mr. Bhalaji.

“Why are you attacking the lawyers? Is this the way? What are we coming to?” the CJI addressed the State.

The former AIADMK Minister was on Wednesday arrested in Karnataka over an alleged job scam.

Two separate FIRs were registered previously by the Virudhunagar police following complaints.

The alleged victims had been promised various jobs in the State government departments, including in the state-run dairy cooperative ‘Aavin’.

Mr. Bhalaji had held the milk and dairy development portfolio in the previous AIADMK government.

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