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Hometamil-naduMadras High Court reserves orders on bail plea of Tamil Nadu minister...

Madras High Court reserves orders on bail plea of Tamil Nadu minister Senthil Balaji

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday reserved orders on a petition filed by DMK Minister V Senthil Balaji, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case, seeking bail.

Justice G Jayachandran reserved order without specifying any date, after hearing elaborate arguments from Senior counsel N.R.Elango, appearing for Balaji and Additional solicitor general A.R.L.Sundaresan, appearing for the ED.

Counsel Elango submitted that Balaji was yet to recover fully even after the bypass surgery and hence he took treatment at Stanley Hospital on October 9. Hence, he may be enlarged on bail for taking further treatment.

Citing the medical report of Stanley hospital, Elango submitted that the doctors have opined that there were symptoms of another attack. The court may appoint any doctor to examine the health condition of Balaji, he added.

He said Balaji has filed his income tax returns for the last 10 years. From this, it was clear that he was innocent. He was sent to jail with ulterior motive, he added.

Senior counsel A R L Sundaresan submitted that from the pen drive, which was seized from Balaji’s office, the ED came to know that he received Rs 67.75 crore from innocent public after promising them to get jobs in State transport corporation.

The accused may be granted bail only when there were no proper or particular facility in prison or government hospital. But, this was not the situation. Already the Principal Sessions Judge had denied bail on medical ground, he added.

He said moreover, Balaji’s brother Ashok Kumar was absconding. Therefore, if Balaji was let out on bail, he will tamper with witnesses, he added.

Balaji was arrested on June 14 by the ED in connection with a money laundering case linked to Cash-for-Jobs scam when he was the Transport Minister during the previous AIADMK regime.

Soon after his arrest, he underwent a bypass surgery at a private hospital. After a full-fledged treatment, the ED took him into its custody for interrogation and on completion of interrogation, he was sent to Judicial Custody by Principal Sessions Judge S.Alli and till now, he continues to be in judicial custody.

Meanwhile, the ED had filed a charge-sheet against Balaji. His earlier bail applications were dismissed twice by PSJ Alli.

(Published 16 October 2023, 18:18 IST)

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