AP High Court reserved judgement on Babu’s quash Petition

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Vijayawada: The AP High Court reserved its judgement on Skill Development Corporation Scam case, the TDP chief N Chandra Babu Naidu’s quash petition in the case. Now he is in the central prison of Rajahmundry in this case since 10th September, 2023.

The court refused to pass interim orders after hearing the arguments from both sides throughout the day. Supreme Court senior lawyers Harish Salve presented his arguments virtually from London and Siddharth Luthra also argued on behalf of Chandra Babu. Former Advocate General and Supreme Court senior lawyer Mukul Rahatgi and AAG P Sudhakar Reddy argued on behalf of the CID.

Chandra Babu Lawyers argued that the case against Naidu is politically motivated with an eye on the upcoming elections. They submitted to the court that the CID did not take prior permission from the Governor before arresting Naidu as required under Section 17A of the amended Prevention of Corruption Act. They argued that the section applied to the case as PC Act was amended in 2018 while FIR was registered in 2021.

Rohatgi, however, argued that Section 17A of PC Act does not apply as the CID investigation started before the amendment of July 26, 2018. They submitted details of the six companies to the court. Chandra 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 and he was subsequently shifted to Rajahmundry Central Jail.

The Vijayawada ACB court had also rejected Naidu’s plea for house custody instead of judicial custody. 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.

Meanwhile, Vijayawada ACB court adjourned to September 21 the hearing on CID’s petition for Naidu’s custody for five days. It also adjourned the hearing on Naidu’s bail petition. In another development, the High Court adjourned hearing on Naidu’s anticipatory bail petition in the Amaravati Inner Ring Road case to September 21. The CID had filed a PT (Prisoner Transit) warrant petition in Vijayawada ACB Court on September 11 in the case.

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