Court reserves order in Chandrababu Naidu’s plea seeking house detention
Naidu was shifted to Rajahmundry jail in the wee hours of Monday, after he was denied bail by the ACB court on Sunday night
A special court for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) cases in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh on Monday reserved its judgment for Tuesday on the petition filed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu seeking house-imprisonment, people familiar with the matter said.
Naidu, who was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) police on Saturday morning in connection with ₹371 crore state skill development corporation scam, was shifted to Rajahmundry jail in the wee hours of Monday, after he was denied bail by the ACB court on Sunday night.
The TDP chief’s counsel and senior Supreme Court lawyer Siddharth Luthra filed a petition in the ACB court on Monday, requesting that Naidu be kept under house imprisonment, as he was a high-profile leader with serious security threat and was under the protection of National Security Guards (NSG) guards round the clock.
Luthra argued that Rajahmundry central jail was not safe for Naidu, as it housed hardcore criminals.
“We have our own doubts over the security provided to him in the prison. He has been provided with high security by the Centre, which could be provided to him in the house remand,” he said, quoting certain judgements given by the Supreme Court in the past.
Additional advocate general Sudhakar Reddy said there was no provision for house imprisonment in the Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC).
“There is adequate security in the jail and as per the court directions, Naidu has been provided with a separate room and other facilities under additional security. In fact, he is safer in jail than at his home,” he argued.
After hearing prolonged arguments from both sides, the ACB court judge deferred the judgment to Tuesday. “After going through the judgment of the ACB court, Naidu’s lawyers would move the bail petition to the state high court,” a TDP leader familiar with the development said.
After obtaining the arrest warrant from the court on Sunday night, the CID authorities shifted Naidu to Rajahmundry central jail at around 1.30 am on Monday on judicial remand of 14 days.
He was allotted remand prisoner number 7,691 and lodged in a separate room at Sneha block with all the facilities and was also provided home-cooked food, medicines and other requirements.
Director general of police (DGP) K V Rajendranath Reddy told reporters that instructions have been given to the East Godavari police to maintain vigil and arrange necessary force at the prison and in the vicinity.
“We have provided round-the-clock surveillance on the jail with closed-circuit television [CCTV] cameras to ensure safety to the VIP prisoner,” the DGP said, adding that arrangements have already been made at the jail dispensary, Rajahmundry government hospital and also a corporate hospital in case of any medical emergency.
Meanwhile, police have erected barricades, diverted traffic and imposed restrictions on vehicular movement on the Jail Road as a precautionary measure. Public movement has been restricted outside the jail.