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ED Scam: HC grants bail to medical admission scam accused

ED Scam: HC grants bail to medical admission scam accused

Chennai: The Madras High Court granted bail to S Madhan, an accused in a medical admission scam, in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate.

Justice P N Prakash granted the bail on the grounds that the evidence produced by the ED did not meet requirements of Section 45(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for denial of the relief.

Rapping the ED for its “shoddy” investigation, the judge observed the PMLA was a welcome law but a sledge-hammer and it should not be used to crack nuts, lest it earned the wrath of the common man resulting in its very repeal by the legislature.

“It should be used against sharks and not shrimps,” he added.

Madhan of Vendhar Movies, wanted for allegedly duping 133 aspirants of medical courses in SRM group of institutions to the tune of Rs 84.27 crore, was arrested in November last year in Tirupur after being on the run for nearly six months.

Police had also arrested SRM group of institutions founder T R Pachamathu in August last year. He was granted bail by the sessions cour later on the condition that he deposit a sum of Rs 75 crore in the trial court.

Madhan was also granted bail, but the ED booked a case under the PMLA and arrested him on May 23. A court had remanded him to judicial custody. Seeking bail, he moved the high court.

Allowing his plea, Justice Prakash said it was apparent to the court that “a shoddy investigation” had been hurriedly done to prevent Madhan from being released on bail.

He said the court was unable to arrive at a finding that there were reasonable grounds for believing that Madhan was guilty of such an offence.

The ED had not produced any material to show that apart from the present offence relating to 133 cheating complaints, Madhan was involved in any other offence.

The judge also noted that from the evidence collected by the ED and the police, the court was able to apparently see that Madhan was not the solitary player in this ‘sordid’ episode.

“There are prima facie materials to show that a well- oiled syndicate had existed by which affluent parents who were overambitious in wanting to make doctors of dull heads, were directed by the SRM University management to contact Madhan at his Vendhar Movies office…,” he said.

The cash paid by the parents went to the kitty of the college management as could be seen from the confession of a co-accused, justice Prakash said.

“In view of the foregoing discussion, the court was inclined to grant bail to Madhan not because he was an angel, but, because the evidence produced by the ED does not pass muster of the parameters of Section 45(1) of the PMLA for denial of bail,” the judge said.

He, however, made it clear that the observations were only for the limited purpose of deciding the bail application and shall not be construed as a clean chit given by the court to Madhan.

The judge then directed release of Madhan on him executing a bond for a sum of Rs 50,000 with two sureties, each for a like sum.

He ordered Madhan to report to the Principal Sessions Judge (Special Court for PMLA cases) here everyday at 10.30 am until further orders.

Source: PTI
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