Madras High Court Grants Extension for Completion of PMLA Trial Against Senthil Balaji

On Wednesday, the Madras High Court (MHC) granted an additional four months to the Principal Sessions Judge (PSJ) to complete the trial in a money laundering case against former Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji. This extension follows Balaji’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) last year.

Previously, Justice N Anand Venkatesh of the Madras HC had denied a bail petition filed by Senthil Balaji on February 28. At that time, the judge directed the Special Court handling Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases to expedite the trial, ideally on a day-to-day basis, and conclude it within three months. This directive came as Balaji had been in custody for approximately eight months.

As the three-month deadline approached and the trial had yet to commence, Principal Sessions Judge S Alli requested additional time from the Madras High Court to complete the proceedings. Responding to this request, Justice G Jayachandran granted an extension of four more months for the trial’s completion and instructed Senthil Balaji to fully cooperate with the court.

Senthil Balaji, a prominent leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), was arrested on June 14, 2023, by the ED. The money laundering case pertains to a cash-for-jobs scam during his tenure as Transport Minister in a previous All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government.

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