Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji was arrested in June 14 last year. (File Image: PTI)
In November last year, the Supreme Court refused to grant bail to Senthil Balaji on medical grounds and asked him to apply for regular bail before trial court
DMK Minister V Senthil Balaji tendered his resignation on Monday, eight months after his arrest in a money laundering case linked to a cash-for-jobs scam.
Balaji, who was arrested by the federal agency on June 14 last year, is awaiting the acceptance of his resignation from Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi.
Balaji was the first minister in the MK Stalin-led government to face such an action from a central agency. The ED had launched multi-city searches in the state in June at the premises linked to the DMK leader.
After his questioning, Balaji was hospitalised as he complained of uneasiness. State Minister P K Sekar Babu claimed there were ‘symptoms’ that Balaji has been ‘tortured’.
Following the DMK minister’s arrest, his energy portfolio was given to Tamil Nadu finance minister Thangam Tennarasu as an additional charge. While Housing minister S Muthuswamy was given the additional portfolio of prohibition and excise ministry.
In November last year, the Supreme Court refused to grant bail to Senthil Balaji on medical grounds. Declining Balaji’s bail plea, the apex court said the condition of the jailed politician doesn’t seem to be very serious to get a special leave.
A bench comprising Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma asked Balaji to apply for regular bail before the trial court.
The court was hearing the DMK leader’s plea against Madras High Court’s order in which he was refused bail on medical grounds.
WHAT WAS THE CASE?
The Supreme Court in May last year had allowed police and the ED to investigate an alleged cash-for-jobs scam against the DMK strongman.
Balaji was the transport minister in the AIADMK government led by the late J Jayalalitha in 2011-15. It was alleged that Balaji received kickbacks from various persons for appointing them as drivers and conductors in the transport corporations.
Three FIRs were registered against him and later charge sheets were also filed.
The ED registered a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against Balaji and others in July 2021 and took up the investigation.
Balaji had joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on December 14, 2018. He won the assembly elections held in April 2021 and has been serving as minister for electricity, prohibition, and excise in the MK Stalin government.