SC reserves verdict on pleas of Tamil Nadu Minister Senthil Balaji, wife against his arrest in money laundering case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on pleas of Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji and his wife Megala challenging the Madras High Court order upholding his arrest in a money laundering case.

“The arguments heard. Judgement reserved,” a bench comprising justices A S Bopanna and M M Sundresh said after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the minister, concluded their submissions.

Presenting its arguments, the anti-money laundering agency said it has the requisite power to arrest and interrogate the accused minister in its custody in order to collect evidence and ensure corroboration.

On the other hand, Rohatgi, assisted by lawyer Amit Anand Tiwari, said ED has no vested right to interrogate an accused in custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Balaji, who continues to be a minister without portfolio in the Tamil Nadu government even after his arrest on June 14, and his wife assailed a Madras High Court order upholding his arrest by the probe agency in a money laundering case arising out of the alleged cash-for-jobs scam in the state’s transport department.

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