Skill development case: Andhra Pradesh HC stays ACB court proceedings against Chandrababu Naidu
Justice K. Sreenivasa Reddy extended Naidu's judicial custody until 18 September, with the High Court set to review the case on 19 September
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has stayed the trial court proceedings against former AP chief minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu in the Andhra Pradesh skill development programme scam case until 18 September.
Justice K Sreenivasa Reddy ordered that Naidu would continue to remain in judicial custody and the state Crime Investigation Department (CID) cannot take him in custody until 18 September. The High Court will hear the case on 19 September.
The Court was hearing Naidu's plea against the order of the Anti-Corruption Bureau court remanding him to 14 days of judicial custody in the scam case.
Naidu was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) during the early hours of Saturday, 9 September at Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh in connection with the Skill Development Corporation corruption case.
This comes after local court in Vijayawada on Tuesday, 12 September rejected a house custody petition filed by TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu. He is currently lodged at Rajamahendravaram Central Prison in judicial custody for 14 days.
On Monday, 11 September, Naidu’s lawyer, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, had filed a petition to grant house custody for the former CM citing threat perception. Naidu is a Z-plus category security protectee. He said that until now Naidu had the protection of the National Security Guard (NSG) but in the central prison, the security might not be adequate. Additional Advocate General P Sudhakar Reddy, appearing for the CID, countered that Naidu would be safer in jail than outside.
In his plea challenging the CID's remand report against him, Naidu asserted that he had been falsely implicated in the case. He also claimed that there was a clear violation of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Section 17A stipulates that it is mandatory for a police officer to seek prior approval for conducting any enquiry or inquiry or investigation into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant while discharging their official duty.
ACB court special judge B Satya Venkata Hima Bindu allotted a special room to Naidu as he was the Opposition leader in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. The judge also allowed home-cooked food and medicines to be supplied from outside.
The CID had also filed a petition seeking Naidu’s custody for five days for further interrogation. The investigation agency also filed another petition in the ACB court for a prisoner transit (PT) warrant to question Naidu in the under-investigation Amaravati Inner Ring Road scam.