The Madras High Court on Thursday rejected a bail petition filed by the jailed Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji in a money laundering case, Live Law reported.
In June, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Balaji for allegedly conspiring with transport corporation officials to appoint candidates recommended by his aides.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader had sought bail on health grounds. Balaji had undergone a bypass surgery during his judicial custody in June. He contended in his plea that he was suffering from a condition that required continuous physiotherapy.
However, Justice G Jayachandran said that the politician’s medical condition was not such that it could only be taken care of if he was released, reported Live Law.
The court also considered submissions made by the Enforcement Directorate that Balaji continues to be a minister even four months after his arrest and he could tamper with the evidence and influence witnesses if he was let out on bail.
“That apart, his past conduct, his present position as minister without portfolio and the abscondence of his brother Mr Ashok Kumar, coupled with the attack on the Income Tax Officials, all cumulatively leads to an irresistible conclusion that, certainly, he will directly and indirectly influence or cause deterrence to witnesses, if released on bail,” the High Court said.
The central agency alleged that crores of rupees were taken as bribes from candidates in exchange for jobs when Balaji was the transport minister in the previous All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government.
After the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s split in 2017, Balaji joined the rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which is currently in power in Tamil Nadu.