After raids, Senthil Balaji fears arrest & seeks bail

Officers of the Central Crime Branch, Chennai City Police, on Friday conducted simultaneous searches at the houses and other premises belonging to DMK Aravakurichi MLA and former Transport Minister V Senthil Balaji and his associates in Chennai, Karur, Tiruvannamalai and Kumbakonam in connection with an alleged job scam.

Following this, Senthil Balaji and his brother V Ashok Kumar have approached the Madras High Court on Friday seeking anticipatory bail. The duo apprehended arrest by the Central Crime Branch police.

According to a senior police officer, 14 teams conducted the searches as part of investigation into a major job scam in transport corporations when he was Transport Minister in the AIADMK government when Jayalalithaa was Chief Minister.

Raids were carried out at 9 places in Chennai, 5 premises in Karur, 2 in Tiruvannamalai, and one location in Kumbakonam. This is in connection with a case against Balaji who is said to have collected around Rs 2.5 crore from aspirants by promising them jobs with the State transport corporation.

The case was filed in 2015, based on a complaint filed by S Devasahayam. Ganesh, another victim, said in his complaint that he had given Rs 95 lakh in several installments to Balaji, the then MLA of Karur.

On Friday, investigators seized documents relating to purchase of properties, gold, and vehicles from the former minister’s premises. His Mandaveli residence was sealed by the police as it was empty.

Raids were also held at the textiles and exports company of Senthil Balaji and also at his brother’s residence. It is said that raids were conducted in connection with the corruption allegations against Senthil Balaji when he was the Transport Minister.