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Have collected evidence to prove involvement of Senthilbalaji in cash for jobs scam: police

CCB says it examined 21 witnesses in one of the three cases

September 29, 2022 10:16 pm | Updated 10:17 pm IST - CHENNAI

V. Senthilbalaji

V. Senthilbalaji

The Chennai Central Crime Branch (CCB) police on Thursday told the Madras High Court that it had conducted a detailed investigation into a cash for jobs case registered against Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise V. Senthilbalaji in 2017 and collected sufficient evidence to prove his involvement in the crime.

In an application filed before Justice V. Sivagnanam for vacating the stay granted on the trial court proceedings in the case, the CCB said it had examined 21 witnesses in one of the three cases booked on similar charges of cheating gullible job seekers and collected materials indicating his culpability.

The charge against the Minister, his brother and personal assistant was that they had collected several lakh rupees from many individuals on the promise of obtaining them government jobs as drivers, conductors and technicians in State transport corporations when he was Transport Minister in Jayalalithaa’s Cabinet in 2014.

Additional Public Prosecutor E. Raj Thilak told the court that the Supreme Court had on September 8, 2022 set aside an order passed by the High Court on July 30, 2021 quashing one of the three First Information Reports, in the cash for jobs scam, on the basis of a compromise reached between the accused and the victims.

Further, on finding that the High Court had stayed the trial court proceedings in the other two connected cases, a Bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and V. Ramasubramanian of the Supreme Court had directed the State to take appropriate steps to get the stay vacated and prosecute the cases properly.

It was in accordance with the court directions that the CCB had chosen to file the vacate stay applications. In the meantime, N. Ramesh, Special Public Prosecutor for the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), urged Justice Sivagnanam to allow an application filed by the directorate to get impleaded as a party to oppose the two FIR quash petitions.

However, Senior Counsel Sriram Panchu, N.L. Rajah, P.S. Raman and S. Prabakaran, representing the accused in the cash for jobs scam cases, vehemently opposed the impleading petition and contended that the ED had nothing to do with the two FIR quash petitions in which none but the CCB was a necessary party.

Mr. Ramesh told the court that the ED had registered a case against the Minister under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 2002 on the basis of the three FIRs booked by the CCB but a Division Bench of the High Court had recently restrained it from investigating the money laundering case until the disposal of the two FIR quash petitions.

“Since our investigation is dependent on the fate of these two quash petitions, we must be allowed to implead in the case and oppose them,” the Special PP told the court. After hearing all of them, the judge decided to take a call on the issue on October 18.

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