Madras HC dismisses bail petition of ex-TN Minister Senthil Balaji

Galgotias Ad

Chennai, Feb 28 (IANS) The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a bail petition moved by DMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Minister V. Senthil Balaji in a money laundering case.

Senthil Balaji was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on June 14, 2023, and remains in judicial custody since then.

The single bench of the Madras High Court, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh, also directed the trial court to complete the trial within three months by conducting the proceedings on a day-to-day basis, as far as practicable, since the petitioner has been in jail for more than 250 days.

The judge had heard the arguments by the senior Supreme Court lawyer, C. Aryama Sundaram for Senthil Balaji and Additional Solicitor General A.R.L. Sundaresan. The judge had reserved the orders on the bail plea on February 22 after hearing the arguments of the two sides.

The Chennai Central Crime Branch (CCB) Police had registered multiple FIRs to investigate the scam. After that the ED had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 on the basis of those FIRs.

Senthil Balaji was serving as the Minister for Electricity and Prohibition when the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) conducted raids at his residence on June 13, 2023 and arrested him in the intervening night of June 13 and June 14, 2023.

Senthil Balaji, had during the arrest complained of chest pain and a medical checkup at a government hospital in Chennai revealed that he was having three blocks in his coronary artery. Subsequently his wife moved a habeas corpus petition in the Madras High Court and transferred him to a private hospital (Kaveri Hospital, Chennai ) where he was operated upon.

Till recently Shenthil Balaji was a minister without portfolio even during his period of incarceration in the Puzhal central prison. When the second bail petition had come for hearing, Justice Anand Venkatesh asked in the open court as to how the petitioner could continue as a minister even after months of being in custody. The minister resigned from the post soon after the court mentioned this.



Comments are closed.