CHENNAI: Accusing sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate of doing a shoddy investigation in the matter relating to collection of crores of rupees for admission in medical courses in SRM University, the Madras High Court on Friday granted conditional bail to Madhan of Vendhar Movies, the other accused in the case.
“What is intriguing is why have the Enforcement Directorate recorded the statements of only seven parents out of 133 and that too in a distorted fashion of exonerating Pachamuthu but implicating Madhan. Whom are they wanting to save?” asked Justice P N Prakash.
“PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) is a welcome legislation, but, it is a sledge-hammer and should not be used to crack nuts, lest it should earn the wrath of the common man resulting in its very repeal by the legislature. It should be used against sharks and not shrimps,” the judge said.
He claimed it was apparant that a shoddy investigation was hurriedly done to prevent Madhan from being released on compulsory bail under Section 167(2) of the CrPC.
As regards the contention that Madhan is likely to commit any offence while on bail, the judge pointed out that the ED has not produced any material to show that apart from the present offence relating to 133 complaints, Madhan was involved in any other offence earlier.
Since all universities by now know Madhan’s antecedants, they would not hire him as their broker and keep committing such offences, the judge pointed out. The expression “any offence” in Section 45(1)(ii) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act cannot mean a traffic offence under Section 304-A IPC or a matrimonial offence under Section 498-A IPC. It can possibly mean either a scheduled offence or an offence under Section 3 of the PMLA, the judge said.
Further, from the material collected by ED and the police, “this court is able to apparently see that Madhan is not the solitary player in this sordid episode. There are prima facie material to show that a well-oiled syndicate had existed, by which, affluent parents who were over-ambitious in wanting to make doctors of dull heads, were directed by the SRM University management to contact Madhan, who struck the deals and received cash along with other accused.”
On the strength of the same, admissions were given to their wards and the cash went to the kitty of the management, as could be seen from the confession of a co-accused, who has even handed over a videograph to police proving his claim.
To a pointed question posed by the court as to why Madhan hosted a suicide note in the social media and absconded, instead of appearing before police and spilling the beans, his counsel candidly said that if Madhan had not sensationalised the episode by stirring the hornet’s nest, he would have been eliminated.
The judge however, said Madhan was not an angel. But the evidence produced by the ED does fulfil the parameters of Section 45(1) of the PMLA for denial of bail.
Judge Prakash also made it clear that whatever was stated was for the limited purpose of deciding his bail application and shall not be construed as a clean chit given by the court to Madhan. The judge ordered the release of Madhan on bail on his executing a bond for Rs50,000 with two sureties.