No purpose in holding trial against Senthilbalaji, says Madras High Court

Points out that all 13 victims had entered into a compromise and were not interested in prosecution

August 25, 2021 02:57 am | Updated 10:10 am IST - Chennai

The Madras High Court has held that no useful purpose will be served in conducting trial in a 2014 job racket case against Electricity Minister V. Senthilbalaji since all 13 victims had compromised the issue and wanted the case to be quashed.

The case pertained to alleged irregularities in recruitment when Mr. Senthilbalaji was Transport Minister in the erstwhile AIADMK government headed by Jayalalithaa.

Justice M. Nirmal Kumar quashed the case against the Minister, his brother Ashok Kumar, personal assistant Shanmugam and Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) employee Rajkumar after the victims appeared before court and said the matter had been settled.

In a judgment delivered on July 30, but available in public domain only now, the judge said the Minister and his brother were not directly involved in collection of ₹40 lakh, which had been paid only to other accused. However, in 2019, the victims reportedly got back their money.

Though only Shanmugam had filed a petition to quash the proceedings on the basis of the compromise reached with the victims, the judge quashed the entire proceedings pending before a special court for trying cases booked against the past and present legislators.

K. Arulmani, a technical staff in MTC, had lodged the complaint in 2018 stating that he collected ₹40 lakh from the 13 individuals and paid them to the accused after they promised to secure driver and conductor jobs when Mr. Balaji was Transport Minister in 2014.

Claiming that they neither got jobs nor the money back, he claimed to have taken four years to lodge the complaint because the accused was a Minister. On the other hand, the quash petitioner claimed that the complaint was lodged after the Minister left AIADMK and joined DMK.

It was also claimed that the petitioner was actually running a manpower agency and that the money was collected towards consultation charges for securing jobs if the applicants fulfil required eligibility. However, they were not eligible and hence they could not get the jobs.

Though the money was repaid in 2019 and all 13 victims were not interested in prosecuting the case, the police went ahead and filed a charge sheet due to political reasons, he alleged.

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