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Former Tamil Nadu Minister Senthil Balaji constantly filing petitions to stall trial: ED

In a petition, Balaji sought to defer the present proceedings and adjourn the case to a later date. In another two petitions, he sought to furnish the missing documents in 'Relied Upon Document Nos-16 and 17'-copies of counterfoil challans relating to his account which were collected by the ED in its investigation, to him.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 11:00 IST

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Chennai: The Enforcement Directorate on Monday informed a sessions court here that with an ulterior motive to stall the trial proceedings in a money laundering case, former Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji was constantly filing petitions and thereby causing a delay in the commencement of trial.

Karthik Dasari, Deputy Director, Chennai Zonal Office, Directorate of Enforcement, stated this in his counter affidavit filed before Principal Sessions Judge S Alli, in response to the petitions filed by Balaji.

In a petition, Balaji sought to defer the present proceedings and adjourn the case to a later date. In another two petitions, he sought to furnish the missing documents in "Relied Upon Document Nos-16 and 17"-copies of counterfoil challans relating to his account which were collected by the ED in its investigation, to him.

In his counter affidavit, Dasari submitted that the petitioner/accused had already filed a petition to defer the trial proceedings and this court had dismissed the same. Challenging this order, the petitioner had preferred an appeal and it was pending before the Madras high court.

"The relief "deferment of present proceedings" does not fall under the scope of section 309 Cr.P.C. This petition has no relevance at this stage and the petitioner cannot use this as a tool to stall the pronouncement of orders in the discharge petition and also the subsequent proceedings of framing charge by this court. The admissibility and maintainability of this petition can be taken up when the trial commences," he added.

He said the petitioner/accused in complete disregard to the direction of the high court was delaying the commencement of trial by filing various petitions before various forums.

The sole motive of the accused in filing the present petition was only to halt the pronouncement of orders in the discharge petition filed by the accused and the subsequent trial proceedings. The same amounts to gross abuse of process of law. Therefore, this court may reject the petitions which were aimed at delaying the trial proceedings.

Dasari said the documents, material evidence relied upon by the ED to prove and establish the involvement of the Petitioner/Accused in the offence of money laundering as defined under section 3 of PMLA has already been submitted to this court. The copies of the same have also been duly supplied to the petitioner on August 28. 2023.

The judge posted to July 4 for further hearing of the case.

The judge also extended the remand of the former minister till July 4, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on June 14, 2023 in a money laundering case linked to cash-for-jobs scam when he was the Transport Minister during the previous AIADMK regime.

The judge before whom Balaji was produced by the prosecution through video-conferencing from the Central Puzhal Prison here also extended his judicial custody till July 4.

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Published 01 July 2024, 11:00 IST

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