Madras HC dismisses Senthil Balaji’s bail plea

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed the bail plea of jailed Tamil Nadu minister without portfolio, Senthil Balaji.

The minister, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on June 14 in a money laundering case, had applied for the bail solely on health grounds.

But Justice G. Jayachandran refused to grant bail to the minister even on medical grounds after accepting the contention by the ED that he was an influential person and that there was every possibility of him tampering with evidence and influencing witnessing if he was allowed bail.

The judge also took into consideration the plea by Additional Solicitor General A.R.L. Sundaresan and Special Public Prosecutor N. Ramesh who appeared for the ED.

They pointed out that Senthil Balaji was a minister in the state cabinet even after four months of incarceration and this itself was clear evidence that he was highly influential.

Justice Jayachandran also agreed with the ED that Senthil Balaji’s brother V. Ashok Kumar, who is absconding following his involvement in an attack on Income Tax officials during a raid at the Minister’s residence in Karur, were also clear indicators that he may cause harm to the prosecution.