Money laundering case: SC directs Senthil Balaji to submit his latest medical reports

The Supreme Court on Monday directed DMK minister V Senthil Balaji, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, to submit his latest medical reports for perusal.

The top court was hearing an appeal filed by Balaji against an order of the Madras High Court which dismissed his bail plea on October 19, saying he was likely to influence witnesses if enlarged on bail.

An apex court bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and SC Sharma asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Balaji, to give the medical reports and posted the matter for hearing on November 28.

At the outset, Rohatgi argued that Balaji is suffering from multiple ailments and referred to his brain MRI report to point out that if not treated he is likely to have a stroke.

The top court observed this does not appear to be very serious and look like an old problem.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, submitted that these are old, chronic issues.

While dismissing the bail plea, the high court had said from the health report of Balaji it did not appear to be a medical condition which could be taken care of 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 high court had said.

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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