SC adjourns hearing on former TN minister Senthil Balaji’s bail plea to July 12

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned to July 12 the hearing on the bail plea of former Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji, who was arrested in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate last year.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Augustine George Masih deferred the matter after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time.

“List it day after tomorrow at the end of the list,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Balaji, submitted that a number of adjournments have been taken by the ED in the matter.

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

Dismissing Balaji’s bail petition, the Madras High Court on February 28 said that it will send a wrong signal if he is let out on bail in a case of this nature and it will be against the 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 June 14 last year in connection with a money laundering case linked to a cash-for-jobs scam when he was the transport minister during the AIADMK government.

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

On October 19, the high court had dismissed Balaji’s earlier bail plea.

A local court had also dismissed his bail petitions thrice.