CHENNAI: Confusion over the jurisdictions of a sessions court and a special court in taking up the bail plea of arrested Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji has delayed the hearing of his petition although his stay in prison has crossed 75 days. During this period, he has spent five days in custody of the Enforcement Directorate, and the central agency has filed a chargesheet and issued copies to the minister’s side.
On Monday, the minister, arrested by the ED on June 14, filed his first bail plea before the special court for cases against MPs and MLAs here. The court, however, directed him to approach the regular principal sessions court, which had originally remanded him in judicial custody.
Accordingly, Senthil Balaji filed a bail petition before the principal sessions court on Tuesday. When it came up for hearing on Wednesday, judge S Alli said the special court for cases against MPs and MLAs could hear his bail plea and passed an order saying the special court had the power to hear the bail plea.
However, when the case was mentioned before special judge Ravi, the latter refused to take up the case for hearing, saying his court lacked jurisdiction and power to hear cases registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The judge directed Senthil Balaji to approach the Madras high court for clarity and necessary orders.
Senthil Balaji is now expected to approach the Madras HC on Thursday for clarity and orders in the matter.

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