In a huge relief, former ADMK Minister Rajenthra Bhalaji has won an interim bail in the Supreme Court on Wednesday - January 12. The bail from the apex court has come a week after he was arrested by the Tamil Nadu police in connection to cheating cases. He was facing incarceration at the Trichy Central prison and while his bail plea was rejected by the Madras High Court earlier, the Supreme Court has now poured a relief with a token to walk out with restrictions.
Rajenthra Bhalaji was arrested on January 5 in Karnataka after three weeks of search and he was lodged at the Trichy Prison. He was facing charges of cheating and swindling money by giving fake promises of providing government jobs while he was serving as a Minister in the previous ADMK government. A case was filed against him in November last year and his anticipatory bail petition was dismissed by the Madras High Court on December 17, following which he had absconded to evade the apprehension.
On the other hand, he had moved his bail petition to the Supreme Court amid being on run and his petition was scheduled to come to a hearing on January 6. However, a day ahead of the hearing, the Tamil Nadu police had arrested Rajenthra Bhalaji on January 5 in Hasan, Karnataka, where he was hiding and was remanded into judicial custody till January 20. While he had become the first former ADMK Minister to get arrested after the party had lost power in the state, the ADMK had slammed the ruling DMK regime for its political vendetta.
On January 6, Rajenthra Bhalaji's plea came to a hearing before the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and during the trial, the court has asked the Tamil Nadu government why the police had arrested the former minister when he has got just a day ahead for the bail hearing. The court has also criticized the government for showing urgency in arresting him and asked whether the case was filed against the former minister for political vendetta.
The court had adjourned the matter to January 12 and the court's observations had signalled that the Tamil Nadu government has seemingly lost its argument over the case. The matter came to the hearing on Wednesday - January 12 and after the hearing, the apex court has awarded a four-week interim bail to Rajenthra Bhalaji. By barring Rajenthra Bhalaji for any overseas travel, the top court has ordered the former minister to produce his passport. He was also directed to oblige to the investigation into the cheating case.