Madras High Court agrees to hear bail petition to be filed by jailed T.N. Minister Senthilbalaji

The Court accepted a request for an early hearing of the bail plea; last month, a Principal Sessions Court in Chennai had dismissed the Minister’s plea for bail considering the gravity of his offence

October 10, 2023 11:42 am | Updated 08:49 pm IST - CHENNAI

Jailed T.N. Minister V. Senthilbalaji

Jailed T.N. Minister V. Senthilbalaji | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The Madras High Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, a bail petition to be filed by jailed T.N. Minister V. Senthilbalaji, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on June 14, in a money-laundering case registered on the basis of a job racketing case being probed by the State police.

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Justice G. Jayachandran, holding the portfolio of cases related to Members of the Parliament and the Legislative Assembly, accepted a request made by Senior Counsel N.R. Elango for an early hearing of the bail petition to be filed in the course of the day. He ordered the listing of the plea on Wednesday.

Mr. Senthilbalaji continues to be a Minister without a portfolio, despite his arrest nearly four months ago. A Principal Sessions Court in Chennai had, on September 20, 2023, dismissed his plea for bail considering the gravity of the offence and the overwhelming materials that were available against him.

Sessions Judge S. Alli had also held that the Minister had not satisfied the twin conditions enumerated under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, of 2002. “This court does not find reasonable grounds for believing that the petitioner is not guilty of the offence or that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail,” she had said.

Though the Minister had sought bail on medical grounds too, citing his ailments, the judge had said: “This court is not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner on merits and also on medical grounds.”

On Monday, October 9, 2023, the Minister had complained of numbness in his leg, and had been taken to the Government Stanley Hospital in Chennai for treatment, following which he was taken back to the Central Prison, Puzhal, where is currently lodged.

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