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ED files charge sheet againt TN minister Senthil Balaji, court sends him to judicial custody till Aug 25

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CHENNAI, Aug 12 (PTI): The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday filed a charge sheet against Tamil
Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation against him and his
aides, official sources said.
Principal Sessions Judge S Alli, before whom the 47-year-old DMK politician was produced, remanded
him in judicial custody till August 25. The minister, who was arrested by the ED on June 14, will continue
to be lodged at the Puzhal central jail in Chennai
The central agency also filed an about 168-170 pages prosecution complaint, apart from annexures,
arraigning Balaji as an accused, the sources said.
Judge Alli had on August 7 permitted the ED to take custody of Senthil Balaji for five days for the
purpose of interrogation in connection with the case. Since the custody came to an end on Saturday, the
ED produced him before the judge.
The court is yet to take cognisance of the complaint (charge sheet) filed under various sections of the
Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the sources said.
The ED is understood to have brought on record various documents seized, purported cash receipts
recovered and the statement of Balaji that was recorded by it over the last few days in the charge sheet.
It is expected to file a supplementary charge sheet as a number of other people including members of
Balaji’s family have not deposed before the agency till now.
It had recently said in a statement that Balaji’s RV Ashok Balaji, his (Ashoks’) wife Nirmala and mother-
in-law P Lakshmi were sent multiple summons to join the probe and record their statements but they
are “yet to appear in person, demonstrating a lack of cooperation with the ongoing investigation”.
A 2.49-acre land located in Karur, valued at more than Rs 30 crore, belonging to Nirmala was frozen by
the ED a few days back in this case.
Balaji continues to be a minister without portfolio in chief minister M K Stalin-led Tamil Nadu
government after he was arrested by the ED on June 14 in the money laundering case linked to an
alleged cash-for-jobs scam when he was the transport minister during the previous AIADMK regime.
The agency had earlier claimed that Balaji “misused” his office for illegal gratification and “engineered” a
job racket scam in the state transport undertakings during 2014-15 with purported kickbacks paid by
candidates through his associates who include his brother R V Ashok Kumar and his personal assistants B
Shanmugam and M Karthikeyan.
“This led to jobs being awarded at the expense of deserving candidates”, the ED had alleged.
The ED filed a case of money laundering in September 2021 to probe these allegations and its complaint
is based on three Tamil Nadu Police FIRs filed during 2018 and later by some of those who failed to get
the promised jobs.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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