Back to back cheating cases: How this former ADMK Minister is battling for bail?

Former ADMK Minister Rajenthra Balaji has launched a battle of obtaining anticipatory bail from a cheating case in which he has been accused of swindling the money by fake promises. Rajenthra Balaji had served as the Tamil Nadu Minister for Dairy Development in the previous ADMK regime and he is one of the party seniors who had lost a reelection runoff in the 2021 assembly polls. Being one of the controversial figures in the state, Rajenthra Balaji leads the party in the Virudhunagar district. 

He has on Thursday moved an anticipatory bail petition to the Madras High Court after the police had filed two cheating cases against him under serious charges. The police have invoked section 420 - cheating against the minister and launched a probe into the matter. According to reports, the Virudhunagar District Crime Branch police have registered two cheating cases against the former minister, his assistants, and a former ADMK functionary. 

The cases were registered based on the complaint filed by Nallathambi and Raveendran. Nallathambi was a former functionary of ADMK and in his complaint, he has alleged that he had collected money to the tune of Rs 1.6 crore from several people and given it to the people close to Rajenthra Balaji to get government jobs. A person named Raveendran from Sattur in Virudhunagar has alleged that he had handed over Rs 30 lakh to Nallathambi with the promise of getting a job as a manager in Aavin, the state-run Dairy board that comes under the Department of Dairy, headed by Rajenthra Balaji in the previous government. 

Nallathambi had served as the Union Secretary of the ADMK between November 2020 and February 2021. Raveendran said that he was promised a job as a manager in Aavin by another ADMK functionary Mariappan, who introduced him to Nallathambi. Raveendran has said that he had given Rs 30 lakh by taking loans. However, as the DMK came to power, Raveendran alleged that he couldn't able to meet any of them. He had then filed a complaint to the Virudhunagar Crime Branch and as per the investigations, the police had filed a case against Rajenthra Balaji, Nallathambi, and Mariappan under the grounds of cheating. 

Later, Nallathambi had come against Rajenthra Balaji and he had given a fresh complaint against the former minister by alleging that Rajenthra Balaji had cheated him to the tune of Rs 1.6 crore with fake job assurances. Based on his complaint, the police had filed a second cheating case against the former minister and three others under sections 406 - punishment for criminal breach of trust, 420- cheating, and 506 - criminal intimidation of the Indian Penal Code.

Apart from Rs 1.6 crore, Nallathambi has also alleged that Rajenthra Balaji had failed to repay him Rs 1.40 crore, which he spent for various programmes of the ADMK under his instructions. Nallathambi went on to allege that he has been receiving death threats from Rajenthra Balaji and his supporters. As back-to-back cheating cases have been filed against him, Rajenthra Balaji has now approached the Madras High Court with an anticipatory bail petition in which he said that the complaints have been filed to damage his reputation and the complainant has eight criminal cases against him. By citing that there is a chance that he could get arrested, he sought anticipatory bail from the High Court.