TIRUCHY/CHENNAI: Sleuths from the Income Tax department on Thursday raided the premises of some friends and relatives of former transport minister V Senthil Balaji at Karur. The Aravakurichi MLA is among the 18 rebel AIADMK legislators who were disqualified by the Assembly Speaker recently.
The raids came in the wake of allegations that Balaji cheated several persons to the tune of about `4 crore promising them jobs in the transport department when he was the minister in 2015.
The Chennai Central Crime branch police is separately investigating complaints from the duped job aspirants. Fearing arrest, Senthil Balaji has moved the Madras High Court seeking anticipatory bail.
The raids were conducted on the residence and office of Subramanian, Thiyagarajan, a contractor, and three other persons considered to be close associates of Balaji, and six other premises of his friends and relatives in Thanthonri Malai, Rayanur, Ramakrishna Nagar and Kamaraj Nagar, official sources said.
An office belonging to the MLA’s relative was also raided. Sleuths from I-T department in Madurai and Chennai were involved in the operation. An eerie silence prevailed in the locality as the raid continued till evening and most of the residents chose to remain indoors.
In his anticipatory bail petition, Balaji said one Ganesh Kumar had lodged a complaint that he and his men had collected `95 lakh on the promise of getting jobs to 16 aspirants. Neither the jobs were given nor the money collected was returned. He lodged the complaint with the Central Crime Branch police, nearly after 24 months in December last year.
As no case was registered by the police, the complainant had moved the Madras High Court, which on September 8 last ordered registration of an FIR. The police registered the FIR on September 9 for offences under sections including 420 (cheating) of the IPC. Balaji said he feared arrest since he was against the present government.