Naidu to continue in jail till Sep 19 as HC defers plea to quash case against him
Chandrababu Naidu had moved the high court to quash the case filed against him by the Crime Investigation Department in connection with the multi-crore state skill development corporation scam
The Andhra Pradesh high court on Wednesday adjourned to September 19 a petition filed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu seeking to quash the case filed against him by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) in connection with the multi-crore state skill development corporation scam, people familiar with the matter said.
The former chief minister moved the high court on Tuesday stating that the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the CID in the skill development corporation scam case was politically motivated and the case was foisted at the behest of chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy to take a political revenge.
A high court bench headed by justice K Sreenivasa Reddy asked the CID to file the counter and additional advocate general Ponnavolu Sudhakar Reddy arguing for the investigation agency sought a week’s time.
Justice Reddy also ordered that the CID cannot take custody of Naidu until September 18. He issued the special court for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) cases in Vijayawada not to issue any order granting police custody of Naidu to the CID till then.
The high court’s order would mean Naidu, who was arrested in the case in the early hours of Saturday, would continue to be in Rajahmundry central jail, where he has been lodged on a two-week judicial remand after the ACB court rejected his bail petition.
The same court on Tuesday rejected his plea for a house imprisonment on the ground that he, being under the protection of National Security Guards, was facing threat perception in Rajahmundry jail.
In his quash petition filed in the high court, a copy of which was reviewed by HT, Naidu challenged the case filed by the CID, asserting that he had been falsely implicated in the case.
He had also claimed that there was a clear statutory violation of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Section 17A deals with the need for prior sanction to inquire into the actions of public servants done in the discharge of their official duties. Since he was the former chief minister of the state, it was mandatory for the CID to obtain the permission of the governor before arresting him.
The TDP chief pointed out that though the case was registered in 2021, his name came into picture only in 2022 with the statement of a co-accused. He said all the “averments in the remand report are vague” and not backed by any proof.
He said there were no specific allegations prima facie made out in the complaint against him. He said the CID had failed to collect preliminary evidence to prove any of the averments in the complaint. “Adding him as accused is not substantiated with any supporting material,” he said.
Naidu also raised the jurisdiction of the trial court by arguing that the competent court would be the special court for MPs and MLAs as he is presently a sitting MLA.
Relying on the earlier judgements in the same case by high court with regard to granting bail to other accused, Naidu stated that the high court had observed that the accusations were sweeping in nature and no cogent material existed.
He sought interim relief by way of staying all further proceedings in the case pending disposal of the case.
In another related development, the high court deferred to September 19 another petition of Naidu seeking anticipatory bail in the case filed against him by the CID in the Amaravati inner ring road case.