HC passes interim stay on ED summons in Senthil Balaji’s PMLA case

The direction was passed on the grounds that the Supreme Court set aside the verdict of Madras HC directing the MPs and MLAs special court to produce the certified copies of unmarked documents in connection with the three cases for aiding the investigation under the PMLA by the ED.
HC passes interim stay on ED summons in Senthil Balaji’s PMLA case
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday passed an interim stay on summons sent by the enforcement directorate to the TNEB minister V Senthil Balaji and others in a case booked against them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,2002 (PMLA) derived from three cases booked by the state police on charges of collecting huge money from people with a promise to offer government job in transport department between 2011 and 2015 while Senthil balaji was serving as transport minister.

A vacation bench of Madras HC comprising Justice R Mahadevan and Justice S Ananthi granted the injunction on hearing a petition filed by one B Shanmugam who is one of the accused in the case.

The direction was passed on the grounds that the Supreme Court set aside the verdict of Madras HC directing the MPs and MLAs special court to produce the certified copies of unmarked documents in connection with the three cases for aiding the investigation under the PMLA by the ED.

Recently, the ED summoned several people to appear for the investigation in this case. Therefore, the petitioner filed this litigation seeking a direction to quash the summons since the Apex Court did not allow the MPs and MLAs court to produce the certified copies of the unmarked documents. The petitioner further submitted that he was unaware that in which case the ED has summoned him.

“Even as a representation was sent to the ED for clarification, the agency did not respond to the representation,” Shanmugam's counsel argued.

On recording the submissions made by the petitioner, the bench passed the interim stayed the summons sent by the ED and wanted the federal agency to submit its response within two weeks.

On July 29, 2021, the ED filed a case against Senthilbalaji and others under the PMLA Act based on the charge sheet filed by the state police in the alleged bribery case indicating the illegal money transactions. However, the case was quashed by HC later. When the ED approached the special court to produce the unmarked documents in the case booked by the state police, the special court refused to furnish such documents. Therefore, the ED approached the HC and got an order in its favour. Meanwhile, the SC set aside the order passed by the HC division bench.

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