Senthil Balaji moves city court for bail

 Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji, arrested by the ED last year in a money laundering case, on Wednesday moved a city Court seeking bail.

Principal Sessions Judge S Alli, before whom the bail petition filed by Balaji came up for hearing, posted to January 8, further hearing of the case, after ED’s counsel N Ramesh sought time to file a counter affidavit.

In his petition, the DMK leader submitted that the Enforcement Directorate was not able to identify and cannot identify the ill-gotten sources of income as the same remain unavailable or the petitioner has no other source of income than the disclosed one.

Therefore the agency, without any valid document could not have proceeded the alleged investigation under PMLA. But to make out a case under PMLA, the ED has observed it has reason to believe the said sources of income were purported to have acquired out of the appointments scam.

He said his every transaction was a reasoned source of legitimate income and the same has been declared in the financial years and therefore the same cannot be treated as ill-gotten money or that the source was illegitimate.

Therefore for the reasons assigned and proof of income of the petitioner, there was every reason to believe that the case of the ED was unlawful and illegal.

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.

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.

The ED had in August 2023, filed a charge-sheet, running to 3,000 pages against Balaji. The Madras high court had on October 19 dismissed the bail petition filed by Balaji. His earlier bail applications were dismissed twice by the PSJ.

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