The Andhra Pradesh High Court on November 20, had granted regular bail to the former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu in the case.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday permitted the incarcerated Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK leader V Senthil Balaji to withdraw his plea for medical bail and approach the trial court for regular bail in the alleged cash for job case observing that ailment cited by Senthil Balaji is not serious and curable.
Declining to entertain the plea for bail on medical grounds and permitting liberty to Senthil Balaji to approach the trial court for regular bail, Justice Bela M. Trivedi heading a bench also comprising Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, said “We are not satisfied” as the ailment being cited for medical bail is not serious and curable.
Keeping open all the issues that can be raised before the trial court for the regular bail – both by Senthil Balaji and the Enforcement Directorate – the bench in its order said that the plea for regular bail will be decided without being influenced by the observations made both by the trial court and the High Court in their respective orders.
As the senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Senthil Balaji took the bench through the MRI report oi the incarcerated minister, Justice Bela Trivedi said that she has checked on the google and the ailment that has been relied upon for the medical bail is curable.
Stating “I have checked on google. It says it can be cured” Justice Bela Trivedi said “There is nothing serious” and “You can apply for regular bail. It is a (plea for) medical bail. We are not satisfied.”
In the last hearing of the matter on November 20, 2023, the Supreme Court had asked Senthil Balaji to furnish his latest medical reports for its perusal. The court had called for the latest medical report as senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi who appeared for Senthil Balaji had told the court that the incarcerated Tamil Nadu minister was suffering from multiple ailments and referred to his brain MRI report stating that if not treated he is likely to have a stroke.
However, the bench had observed that this does not appear to be a very serious problem and looks like an old problem.
Senthil Balaji has approached the top court challenging the October 19, Madras High Court order dismissing his bail plea. The High court had held that Senthil Balaji was likely to influence the witnesses if enlarged on bail. The High Court had observed that Balaji’s medical condition was not such that it could be taken care of only if he was released on bail.
Senthil Balaji was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement on June 14 in an alleged ‘cash for job’ scam that took place when he was the transport minister (2011-2015) in the government of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
The ED had arrested Senthil Balaji in connection with a money laundering case rooted in alleged ‘cash for job’ scam that took place when Senthil Balaji was Transport minister in AIADMK government who later crossed over to ruling DMK in 2018.
The ECIR was registered on the basis of three FIRs lodged against him by the local police in 2018 for his alleged involvement in a cash-for-job case when he was the transport minister in Jayalalithaa’s Cabinet in 2015.