The High Court had on October 31 granted a four-week interim bail on medical grounds.
More trouble seems to be in store for former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu as the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) court granted two days of custody to CID after the High Court dismissed his petition to quash the FIR against him in connection with the multi crore Skill Development scam. He will now approach the Supreme Court for relief.
Two days back while battling it out in the High Court both sides had drawn big guns with Harish Salve virtually appearing for Naidu while Mukul Rohtagi argued for AP CID in the court of Justice K Sreenivasa Reddy. Naidu’s lawyers had said that prior sanction was required before his arrest under this particular section and had pleaded for the FIR to be quashed.
Today, in the 68-page long judgement, the court said: “The criminal petition is devoid of merit and is accordingly dismissed and the consequential reliefs sought are dismissed.”
It also observed, “Save in exceptional cases where non interference would result in miscarriage of justice the court and the judicial process should not interfere at the stage of investigation of offences.”
Before dismissing the petition, the judge further observed: “The investigating agency pursuant to the registration of crime in the year 2021 examined as many as more than 140 witnesses and collected documents to the tune of more than 4000. Profligacy is such an esoteric subject where investigation has to be carried with utmost proficiency by the professionals. At this stage where the investigation is on fulcrum of attaining finality this court is not inclined to interfere with the impugned proceedings.”
After the High Court pronounced its judgement, the ACB court granted custody of Naidu to CID for two days in the Skill Development scam case. He would now face interrogation by the CID sleuth in Rajahmundry Central prison where he is currently lodged. His remand period was extended to 24 th September earlier today.
Meanwhile, TDP MLAs continued from yesterday and disrupted proceedings of the Assembly. Telugu actor and Naidu’s brother-in-law today resorted to blowing a whistle loudly in order to disrupt the Assembly. Other TDP MLAs raised slogans and tore papers.
The Speaker then adjourned the House and suspended K Atchen Naidu and B Ashok for the entire session. Later, state Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy also led the discussion on the Skill Development scam and read out the Income Tax notice served to Chandrababu Naidu in the Assembly. He also highlighted the links between Naidu’s PA P Srinivas and executive Shapoorji and Pallonji Manoj Pardasany, who was interrogated by IT officials.