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Jailed Tamil Nadu minister Senthil Balaji resigns ahead of bail hearing

Chennai, Feb 13, 2024: Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji tendered his resignation on Monday, eight months after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case linked to an alleged cash-for-jobs scam.


Senthil Balaji

Balaji, who had been stripped of his ministerial portfolios following his arrest and ill health, is awaiting the acceptance of his resignation order.

The resignation comes just days before the Madras High Court is scheduled to review his bail plea, the latest in a series of relief petitions that have largely proved to be futile.

At a previous hearing, the Madras High Court had questioned how Senthil Balaji could continue as a Minister despite being in jail for over 230 days. The court also commented that Balaji’s continuation as Minister "did not augur well".

Balaji’s legal troubles stem from accusations that date back to his tenure as Transport Minister from 2011 to 2015 under the government of the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. It was during this period that he allegedly engaged in a scheme where jobs were offered in exchange for money.

The case against Balaji has seen significant judicial activity, with the Supreme Court issuing notice to the ED on his petition challenging the arrest. The top court’s intervention came after the Madras High Court upheld his arrest and allowed police custody for the ED, which is investigating the money laundering aspects of the job scam.

Balaji’s arrest on June 14 last year was followed by a brief dismissal from the cabinet by Governor RN Ravi, a decision that was later put "in abeyance". Chief Minister MK Stalin and the ruling DMK party continued to support Balaji until recent developments prompted the call for his resignation.

Courtesy: India Today

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