India apex court docket rejects plea to dismiss minister from state cupboard on cash laundering expenses – JURIST


The Supreme Court docket of India (SC) on Friday dismissed a plea towards the Madras Excessive Court docket’s September 2023 judgment that left it to the chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu to determine if Minister V. Senthil Balaji, who was arrested as a result of his alleged involvement in cash laundering linked to a jobs-for-cash rip-off case, ought to proceed within the state cupboard.

The bench of Justices Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan refused to intrude with the Excessive Court docket’s judgment underneath Article 136 of the Structure of India, which authorizes the SC to entertain ‘Particular Depart Petitions’ within the curiosity of justice. The bench, in an oral assertion, reportedly held {that a} governor requires the advice of the chief minister for the elimination of a minister who’s in custody and can’t achieve this independently.

It’s alleged that Balaji, the present Tamil Nadu Electrical energy Minister, sought bribes from third events promising jobs within the Transport Division throughout his tenure because the state’s Transport Minister between 2011 and 2015. On June 14, 2023, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India arrested him. He has been positioned in judicial custody till January 11.

Following Balaji’s arrest, all his portfolios have been withdrawn however he continued to be part of the cupboard. RL Ravi, an advocate, challenged the identical earlier than the Madras Excessive Court docket. The court docket rejecting his petition said:

Neither the Structure nor the Illustration of Individuals Act of 1951 disqualifies an individual to be a Member of the State Legislative Meeting after he’s underneath custody or is present process trial after framing of the costs.

The court docket, nevertheless, “suggested” the state chief minister to determine if Balaji ought to proceed as a minister as retaining a minister with out portfolios “serves no goal” and “doesn’t augur effectively with the Ideas of Constitutional ethos on goodness, good governance and purity in administration.”

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