Madras HC dismisses Senthil Balaji’s bail plea

The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed the bail petition of DMK Minister V Senthil Balaji, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, saying he was likely to influence witnesses if enlarged on bail.

Justice G Jayachandran dismissed the bail petition filed by Balaji.

The judge said the health report of the petitioner does not appear to be a medical condition which could be taken care only if he was released on bail.

“That apart, his past conduct, his present position as Minister without Portfolio and the abscondence of his brother Ashok Kumar, coupled with the attack on the Income Tax Officials (allegedly by Balaji’s supporters in Karur during searches earlier), all cumulatively lead to an irresistible conclusion that, certainly, he will directly and indirectly influence or cause deterrence to witnesses, if released on bail,” the judge added.

“The non-cooperation of the co-accused Ashok Kumar, who is the blood brother of the petitioner also justifies the apprehension of the Enforcement Directorate that, there is flight risk causing impediment in progress of trial. For the above reasons, this Court is not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner. Accordingly, this Criminal Original Petition is dismissed,” the judge added while rejecting Balaji’s plea for relief.

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

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