Several districts like Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Ongole, Nellore and Tirupati were badly affected by the incessant rain accompanied by gusty winds at the speed of 90 -100 kmph.
A sessions court in Chennai has denied bail to Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji, who had been arrested earlier this year in connection with a money laundering case. Balaji’s arrest came following an Enforcement Directorate investigation, during which he was taken into custody after reporting chest pain and undergoing questioning.
Judge S Alli, after receiving a directive from the Madras High Court to consider the minister’s bail plea, had reserved her decision last week. In rejecting the bail application, Principal Sessions Court Judge S Alli cited three key concerns: the risk of flight, potential influence on witnesses, and the possibility of tampering with evidence.
The Enforcement Directorate on June 14, 2023 had apprehended Balaji in connection with allegations of money laundering. Last month, the court had extended his judicial custody until September 15. This extension came before the Supreme Court dismissed challenges to a Madras High Court ruling upholding his arrest.
Currently serving as a minister without a portfolio, Senthil Balaji got retention in the Tamil Nadu cabinet by Chief Minister MK Stalin. Two weeks ago, the High Court suggested that Mr. Stalin reconsider this decision.
The court based its decision on several factors. These factors included the absence of reasonable grounds to presume his innocence. Additionally, they considered the potential for him to commit further offenses if released. Lastly, the court took into account the impracticability of treating his illness within a jail environment.
The court dismissed the petitioner’s argument. They argued that Balaji’s submitted Income Tax returns substantiated his legitimate income. They also claimed that the charges against him were speculative. The court asserted that the bail stage was not the venue for a “mini trial.”