Chennai: Tamil Nadu minister Senthil Balaji allegedly “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, the ED informed a local court after arresting the DMK leader.
Calling him the “prime suspect” in the cash-for-jobs case, the federal probe agency also stated in custody papers that alleged unaccounted cash deposits worth about ₹ 1.60 crore were made in the bank accounts of Balaji and his wife.
Balaji, 47, was arrested under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the agency here on June 14 after it launched searches the previous day at his premises and those linked to him in Chennai and some other locations. Chief Minister M K Stalin slammed the ED action against Balaji as “intimidation politics” by the Centre.
Balaji was admitted to a city government hospital after he complained of uneasiness. He underwent a coronary angiogram and was advised to undergo bypass surgery at the “earliest”. The state minister was remanded in judicial custody until June 28 by a sessions court judge during a hearing held at the hospital.
The ED claimed in its submission that Balaji, a public official, “misused his office for illegal gratification and engineered a job racket scam in MTCs and TNSTCs”.