Cash-for-jobs case: TN Minister Senthil Balaji has sought to defer trial to ‘stall’ proceedings, ED tells court

Balaji was arrested in June 2023 by the ED in connection with a cash-for-jobs scam when he was Transport Minister during the AIADMK regime.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 29, 2024 | 8:26 PMUpdatedJan 29, 2024 | 8:26 PM

Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate last year. (Screengrab)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Monday, 29 January, submitted before a sessions court in Chennai that the arrested Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji had sought deferring of the trial in the money laundering case against him “to stall further proceedings”.

Last week, Balaji filed the petition before the court of the Principal Sessions Judge (PSJ), submitting that the Special Court for trial of criminal offences against MP/MLAs had not even taken cognisance of the alleged predicate/scheduled offence to date.

ED’s submission

The ED said that “at this stage, to stall the further proceedings and to delay the framing of charge and commencement of trial, the petitioner/accused has filed the present petition.”

“It is submitted that by seeking the above prayer, the petitioner has sought ‘deferment of trial’ alone and NOT the framing of charge. The relief ‘deferment of the trial’ does not fall under the scope of Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” it added.

“This petition has no relevance at this stage and the petitioner cannot use this as a tool to stall the framing charge by this Hon’ble Court. It is humbly submitted that the admissibility and maintainability of this petition can be taken up when the trial commences. The above reason is legally unsustainable and the pendency of the trial of the predicate offence has no bearing on the trial of the case under PMLA. The only exception is the final result in the predicate offence,” the agency contended.

The case was adjourned to 31 January. Meanwhile, the court extended Balaji’s remand till 31 January.

Also Read: TN Minister Senthil Balaji’s bail plea rejected a third time by Chennai court


Balaji was arrested on 14 June 2023 by the ED in connection with a money laundering case linked to a cash-for-jobs scam when he was the Transport Minister during an earlier AIADMK regime.

The ED arrested Balaji in connection with a money laundering case rooted in the alleged scam. Balaji crossed over to the ruling DMK in 2018.

Soon after his arrest, he underwent a bypass surgery at a private hospital. Later, the ED took him into custody for interrogation and following that he was remanded in judicial custody. His remand was periodically extended by the court.

The ED had, in August 2023, filed a charge sheet, running to 3,000 pages against Balaji. It 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 Madras High Court had, on 19 October, dismissed the bail petition filed by Balaji. His earlier bail applications were dismissed twice by the Principal Sessions Judge. The court had held that Balaji was likely to influence the witnesses if enlarged on bail.

The Supreme Court, on 28 November, permitted imprisoned Balaji to withdraw his plea for medical bail and approach the trial court for regular bail, observing that the ailment cited by Senthil Balaji is not serious and is, in fact, curable.

On 12 January 2024, Principal Sessions Judge S Alli dismissed the bail petition of the DMK leader for the third time on the ground that there was no change of circumstances in the case.

(With PTI inputs)