PMLA case: Senthil Balaji has Sought to defer Trial to ‘Stall’ Proceedings, ED Tells City Court

The ED on Monday submitted before a sessions court here on Monday that arrested Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji had sought deferring of the trial in a money laundering case “to stall further proceedings.”

Balaji had last week filed the petition before the court of the Principal Sessions Judge (PSJ), submitting that the Special Court for trial of criminal offences against MP/MLAs had not even taken cognizance of the alleged predicate/scheduled offence till date.

The ED on Monday said that “at this stage, to stall the further proceedings and to delay the framing of charge and commencement of trial, the Petitioner/accused has filed the present petition…”

“It is submitted that by seeking the above prayer, the petitioner has sought “deferment of trial” alone and NOT the framing of charge. The relief “deferment of the trial” does not fall under the scope of section 309 Cr.P.C.”

“This petition has no relevance at this stage and the petitioner cannot use this as a tool to stall the framing charge by this Hon’ble Court. It is humbly submitted that the admissibility and maintainability of this petition can be taken up when the trial commences The above reason is legally unsustainable and the pendency of the trial of the predicate offence has no bearing on the trial of the case under PMLA. The only exception is the final result in the predicate offence,” the agency contended.

The case was adjourned to January 31.

Meanwhile, the court extended Balaji’s remand till January 31.

Balaji was arrested in June 2023 by the ED in connection with a money laundering case linked to cash-for-jobs scam when he was the Transport Minister during an earlier AIADMK regime.

Soon after his arrest, he underwent a bypass surgery at a private hospital. Later, the ED took him into custody for interrogation and following that he was remanded in judicial custody. His remand was periodically extended by the court.

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