Supreme Court adjourns hearing of Senthil Balaji’s bail plea to 10 July

The top court had on 1 April sought a response from the ED on Balaji's bail plea while issuing notice to the agency.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 16, 2024 | 1:25 PMUpdatedMay 16, 2024 | 9:58 PM

Senthil Balaji. (Supplied)

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 16 May, adjourned the bail plea of DMK MLA Senthil Balaji to 10 July. The apex court was hearing the bail plea of the former Tamil Nadu minister, arrested by the ED last year in connection with the “cash for jobs” money laundering case.

The bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan who were hearing the plea adjourned the hearing as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was unable to appear before the court. Senior advocate Aryama Sundaram, appearing for Balaji urged the court to hear the plea post-lunch.

Justice Abhay S Oka responded: “We cannot have it today (16 May). If SG is not there then how can we? As if there is no other work. We have more than this matter listed.”

The judge added, “Hearing only this would send wrong signals, this cannot be the approach. We will have this in July or give the liberty to move the vacation bench. We have two parts heard and at 3 pm we have DDA. Tomorrow (17 May) is also not possible because we have 50 fresh matters.”

The court passed the order to adjourn the hearing to 10 July.

Supreme Court further said that they have given priority to the PMLA matters, “But not like this when SG is not available.”

Also Read: SC adjourns former Tamil Nadu Minister Senthil Balaji bail plea till 6 May

Supreme Court seeks ED response

The top court had on 1 April sought a response from the ED on Balaji’s bail plea while issuing notice to the agency.

Dismissing the bail petition, the Madras High Court on 28 February said if he is let out on bail in a case of this nature, it will send a wrong signal and will be against larger public interest.

It said the petitioner had suffered incarceration for more than eight months and it would therefore be more appropriate to direct the special court to dispose of the case within a time frame.

The high court ordered that the trial shall be conducted on a day-to-day basis in accordance with the guidelines given by the top court.

Balaji was arrested on 14 June last year in connection with a money laundering case linked to a cash-for-jobs scam when he was transport minister during an earlier AIADMK regime.

On 12 August last year, the ED filed a 3,000-page charge sheet against Balaji.

On 19 October, the high court dismissed Balaji’s earlier bail plea. A local court had also dismissed his bail petitions thrice.

Also Read:  Senthil Balaji’s remand extended till 17 April