The Supreme Court on Monday, 20 November, asked incarcerated Tamil Nadu Minister and the DMK leader V Senthil Balaji, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money laundering case, to furnish his latest medical reports for its perusal, while hearing his bail plea.
Seeking the latest medical report of Senthil Balaji, a Bench comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and Satish Chandra Sharma posted the Tamil Nadu minister’s bail plea for 28 November.
The Bench asked for the latest report medical report as senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Senthil Balaji, said that the incarcerated minister is suffering from multiple ailments and referred to his brain MRI report, stating that if he is not treated, he is likely to have a stroke.
However, the Bench observed that this does not appear to be very serious and looks like an old problem.
Madras High Court denies bail
Senthil Balaji approached the top court challenging the 19 October Madras High Court order dismissing his bail plea. The high court held that Balaji was likely to influence the witnesses if released on bail.
The high court observed that Balaji’s medical condition was not such that it could be taken care of only if he was released on bail.
Senthil Balaji was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement on 14 June 2023 in an alleged “Cash-for-job” scam that took place when he was the transport minister (2011-2015) in the government of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
The ED, in its charge sheet, stated that the entire recruitment process in the Tamil Nadu Transport Department during the tenure of Senthil Balaji as its minister was turned into a “corrupt chiefdom” and the cash-for-jobs scam was executed under his authority.
Balaji played a “pivotal and central” role, “exploiting” his official capacity as the transport minister for personal gains through corrupt and illegal means, the charge sheet claimed.
The Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) was registered on the basis of three FIRs lodged against him by the local police in 2018 for his alleged involvement in the cash-for-job case.