Framing of charges against jailed Minister Senthilbalaji on January 22

The Principal Sessions Court in Chennai extended Mr. Senthilbalaji’s remand and directed the prison authorities to produce him before the court on January 22.

Updated - January 12, 2024 01:08 pm IST

Published - January 12, 2024 12:28 am IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Minister Senthilbalaji. File

Tamil Nadu Minister Senthilbalaji. File | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

The Principal Sessions Court on Thursday, January 11, 2024 ordered that Minister V. Senthilbalaji, who is currently in jail, be produced before it on January 22 for framing of charges in connection with a money-laundering case filed by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).

On June 14 last year, Mr. Senthilbalaji was arrested by the ED and remanded in judicial custody on the same day. He later underwent a bypass surgery and was subsequently lodged in the Puzhal Central Prison.

In August, the Central agency filed the prosecution complaint. ED investigation revealed that Mr. Senthilbalaji had abused his official position as the Transport Minister, during the AIADMK regime, and, along with his brother R.V. Ashok Kumar and his personal assistants, entered into a criminal conspiracy with the then Managing Directors of State Transport Undertakings, and others, and obtained illegal gratification from candidates to recruit them for various posts.

The ED also collected incriminating evidence establishing the nexus and modus operandi of the ‘cash-for-jobs’ scam.

He has been in remand for over 200 days now and has filed a bail petition. When the matter came up before Principal Sessions Judge S. Alli on Thursday, senior advocate S. Prabakaran submitted that the documents produced by the ED were fake, and said that there should be no further proceedings.

Special public prosecutor N. Ramesh, appearing for the ED, said the case is based on facts and 77 documents and 27 witnesses and evidence were cited. The judge extended Mr. Senthilbalaji’s remand and directed the prison authorities to produce him before the court on January 22.

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