SC adjourns hearing on former TN minister Senthil Balaji's bail plea to July 12

In the first week of April, the Supreme Court sought the central agency to file a detailed reply to the petition filed by Balaji against a Madras High Court order refusing him bail in the case.
Former minister V Senthil Balaji
Former minister V Senthil Balaji(File photo)

NEW DELHI: There was no immediate relief to MLA and former Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji as the Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on his bail plea in a money laundering case to July 12 (Friday). A two-judge bench comprising Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan ordered the adjournment.

Mukul Rohatgi, a senior advocate appearing for Balaji, questioned how many more adjournments the Enforcement Directorate (ED) would take in the case.

In the first week of April, the Supreme Court sought the central agency to file a detailed reply to the petition filed by Balaji against a Madras High Court order refusing him bail in the case.

On June 14, 2023, the ED arrested the former minister in connection with a money laundering case related to a cash-for-jobs scam, alleging his involvement in corruption.

The central agency had also filed a 1,000-page chargesheet against Balaji.

Former minister V Senthil Balaji
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“The accused (Balaji) played a central and pivotal role in the job racket scam during 2014-2015. He should not be granted bail,” the ED lawyer had told the Supreme Court bench.

On February 28, while dismissing Balaji’s bail petition, the Madras HC mentioned in its order that if he is released on bail in a case of this nature, it would send a wrong signal and that it will be against the larger public interest. Senior advocate Aryama Sundaram, appearing for Balaji, had earlier pleaded to the Supreme Court for interim bail.

Balaji has claimed innocence and said the ED has not identified the proceeds of crime against him and its main evidence relies on information from the predicate offence.

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