SC fixes May 6 for Hearing of ex-TN Minister Senthil Balaji’s bail plea

The Supreme Court on Monday fixed for May 6 the hearing on the bail plea of DMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Minister V. Senthil Balaji, who was arrested last year in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged cash-for-jobs scam.

A bench presided over by Justice Abhay S. Oka adjourned the hearing saying that it did not have the benefit of the counter affidavit filed by the ED since it was not placed on record.

“Milords, may excuse us for the delay in filing (of the counter affidavit) and we should have filed it prior to 12 p.m. on Saturday,” explained the counsel appearing for the federal anti-money laundering agency.

“Alright! We will hear it on May 6,” said the Bench, also comprising Justice Ujjal Bhuyan.

In the previous hearing, the top court declined to pass any interim order staying the February 28 order of the Madras High Court, which had dismissed Balaji’s bail petition.

However, it issued a notice to the ED and sought the response of the central agency within four weeks.

Earlier, a bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court observed that even if Balaji had resigned from his position as a Minister, he continues as an MLA belonging to the ruling party in Tamil Nadu and continues to wield a lot of influence on the state government.

The high court had asked the trial court to complete the trial within three months by conducting the proceedings on a day-to-day basis.

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Balaji was arrested by the ED in June last year and has remained in judicial custody since then.

In November last year, the Supreme Court had declined to entertain Balaji’s plea seeking bail on medical condition remarking that it was not satisfied with his illness and his medical condition could be cured with medicines.

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