Vijayawada: The AP High Court dismissed the quash petition on Friday filed by the Former AP CM N Chandra Babu Naidu to quash the FIR in Skill Development Case and set aside his judicial remand.
The high court, which had reserved its orders on Wednesday, pronounced the same on Friday. Single bench of Justice Sreenivas Reddy did not agree with the arguments of the counsels of the TDP chief challenging his arrest and judicial remand in the case. Appearing on behalf of Harish Salve, the counsels had argued that the case against Naidu was politically motivated.
Chandra Babu lawyers had submitted to the court that the CID did not take prior permission from the Governor before arresting Naidu as required under section 17A of Prevention of Corruption Act.
CID Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, had contended that section 17A of PC Act does not apply as the CID investigation started before the amendment of July 26, 2018. Babu was arrested in the case by the CID in Nandyal on September 9. The next day, ACB Court in Vijayawada sent him to judicial custody for 14 days. The former chief minister was subsequently shifted to Rajahmundry Central Jail.
The Vijayawada Court had also rejected Naidu’s plea for house custody instead of judicial custody. The case relates to the establishment of clusters of Centers of Excellence in the state of Andhra Pradesh, with a total estimated project value of Rs 3,300 crore when Naidu was the chief minister.
The CID claimed that the alleged fraud has caused a huge loss of Rs 371 crore to the state government. The agency claimed that an advance of Rs 371 crore, representing the entire 10 per cent commitment by the government for the project, was released before any expenditure by the private entities.
The CID mentioned in its remand report that the total amount spent by private entities on six skill development clusters is sourced exclusively from funds advanced by the state government and the Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Centre, totaling Rs 371 crore.