Madras High Court. (File photo)
Madras High Court. (File photo)

Justice League: Parties playing politics in Vinayakar idol installation and immersion, says Madras HC

Justice Anand Venkatesh rejects Hindu Makkal Katchi’s plea to install idol in Coimbatore

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court deplored political parties for playing politics by taking up the installation and immersion of idols ahead of Vinayakar Chaturthi, on Wednesday. Justice N Anand Venkatesh made the comments when a petition filed by Hindu Makkal Katchi leader M Rajendran, seeking the court’s permission to install idols at certain locations, including in Sirumugai in Coimbatore, came up for hearing.

“Political parties are playing politics by using Vinayakar idol installation, but they are not doing anything for the society,” said Justice Venkatesh. Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) A Damodaran, on behalf of the police, said the applications seeking clearance for installation and immersion of idols would be considered only if they satisfy the criteria prescribed in the government order (G.O.) issued in 2018, which also lists a standard operating procedure.

One of the main conditions, he noted, is that the applicant can seek permission for a place only if he has earlier held the event at the same site. Pointing out that another outfit, the Hindu Munnani, has been installing the Vinayakar idol in Sirumugai, APP Damodaran said the Hindu Makkal Katchi cannot be allowed to hold the event at the same place, and noted that it would lead to law and order issues.

He also said that the petitioner had recently switched over to Hindu Makkal Katchi from Hindu Munnani, and so had applied for permission with a motive. Disposing of the petition, Justice Venkatesh made it clear that only applications, that satisfy the conditions laid out in the G.O., would be considered.

Madras HC cancels businessman’s bail in money laundering case

The Madras High Court on Wednesday set aside an order of a trial court granting bail to a businessman arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a coal imports scam. Finding several lapses, including the haste shown in granting bail to Ahmed AR Buhari, proprietor of Coastal Energy Private Limited, Justice G Jayachandran set aside the order of the CBI Court, a special court that deals with cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act passed on August 16, 2023.

Buhari has been running CEPL, Chennai, Coastal Energen Private Limited, Coal and Oil Group, Dubai, and other offshore entities in Mauritius and the British Virgin Islands. He was accused of supplying low-quality coal to the PSUs suppressing facts on original quality, and swindling `564.48 crore. He was also accused of laundering `557.25 crore through shell companies.

The ED arrested Buhari on March 3, 2022, and his bail pleas were dismissed by the lower courts, Madras High Court, and the Supreme Court. The XIII CBI court, however, granted him bail. Justice Jayachandran said the trial court had passed a docket order without passing a detailed order citing the reason for granting bail. Noting that the bail was granted in ‘haste’, without the detailed order, ‘threw suspicion’ on the conduct of the trial court.

Prolonged trial or incarceration pending trial is the antithesis to fundamental right; however, the reasonable restriction and the interest of the nation cannot be ignored, the judge said as he rejected the application.

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