TN governor keeps minister Senthil Balaji's dismissal order on hold; to consult AG

Senthil Balaji
The ED had launched searches at locations linked to Balaji at Chennai, Karur and Erode, on Tuesday as part of the probe into an alleged cash-for jobs scam. Photo: IANS

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi has decided to keep the dismissal order of state minister V Senthil Balaji in abeyance for the time being and informed Chief Minister M K Stalin about it, sources said on Thursday.

In a late evening communication to the chief minister, the governor said he would consult the attorney general and seek his legal opinion about the move.

The order to dismiss Balaji from the Council of Ministers has been kept in abeyance by the governor until further communication, the sources said.

Earlier, the governor had dismissed Balaji from the Council of Ministers, days after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged cash-for-jobs scam.

Stalin had said the state government would challenge the governor's decision legally.

In an official release, the Raj Bhavan in Chennai had said, "There are reasonable apprehensions that the continuation of V Senthil Balaji in the Council of Ministers will adversely impact the due process of law, including fair investigation that may eventually lead to the breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state."

Balaji "is facing serious criminal proceedings in a number of cases of corruption, including taking cash for jobs and money laundering. Abusing his position as a minister, he has been influencing the investigation and obstructing the due process of law and justice," the release added.

(With  PTI inputs)

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