“What is this new trend of looting lawyers? And taking the defendants out of the jurisdiction of the court, to which the police station from which they were arrested belongs?” a bench headed by CJI NV Ramana observed in a case involving the arrest of former AIADMK Minister KT Rajenthrabhalaji.
Balaji was arrested by Tamil Nadu Police on January 5, 2022, in connection with an employment scam just when he moved SC on early bail. The bench, which also included judges Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, took a dim view of the police raids on the former minister’s lawyers.
“We will order an investigation into the conduct of the police with lawyers,” threatened the CJI of Tamil Nadu. “People can’t go to lawyers? And uniforms will trample people’s freedom?”
The bench eventually granted the ex-minister bail on the condition that he surrender his passport and cooperate with the investigation and asked the state to submit all facts regarding his arrest in a counter affidavit.