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Supreme Court dismisses plea to oust Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji amid money laundering case

The appeal was lodged by ML Ravi against the Madras High Court's ruling, which deferred the decision on Balaji's continuation in the Tamil Nadu Cabinet to the Chief Minister, particularly in his capacity as a Minister without portfolio.

Supreme Court dismisses plea to oust Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji amid money laundering case AJR
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First Published Jan 5, 2024, 4:38 PM IST

In a recent development, the Supreme Court rendered a decision on a plea seeking the ousting of Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji from the State Cabinet, citing his involvement in a money laundering case. The apex court bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan highlighted a crucial aspect, emphasizing that a Governor lacks the authority to dismiss a Minister without the Chief Minister's recommendation.

The court, upholding the Madras High Court's stance, declined to intervene in the matter, effectively dismissing the appeal contesting the High Court's decision. Expressing alignment with the High Court's verdict, the bench said, "We have perused the impugned judgment of the High Court and concur with the view taken. No interference is called for under Article 136."

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The appeal was lodged by ML Ravi against the Madras High Court's ruling, which deferred the decision on Balaji's continuation in the Tamil Nadu Cabinet to the Chief Minister, particularly in his capacity as a Minister without portfolio.

The underlying plea in the High Court revolved around Balaji's tenure in the Tamil Nadu Cabinet following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The arrest, stemming from a money laundering case last year, implicated Balaji in an alleged cash-for-jobs scam during his tenure as the Transport Minister in the AIADMK-led government between 2011 and 2015. Subsequently, Balaji switched allegiance to the DMK and assumed a ministerial role in 2021.

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