SC Defers Hearing on Chandrababu Naidu’s Plea till Oct 9, Asks AP Govt to Produce Documents


GG News Bureau

New Delhi, 3rd Oct. The Supreme Court postponed hearing on a petition by TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu challenging an Andhra Pradesh High Court ruling denying his petition to quash a FIR against him in the Skill Development Corporation corruption case till October 9.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi directed senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, who was representing the government of Andhra Pradesh, to record all evidence brought before the high court in connection with the case.

Rohatgi said Naidu’s petition for quashing the FIR should be rejected as the question of section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act does not arise as the provision came in July 2018, while the inquiry into the case was started in 2017 by the CBI.

Senior advocates Harish Salve, Abhisehk Singhvi and Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Naidu, said all the allegations in the FIR pertains to the decisions, instructions or recommendations made by Naidu while being the chief minister of the state.

“This is nothing but a political case and the rigours of section 17A would apply in the matter,” Salve said.

Luthra said “they are roping him in FIR after FIR” and it is a clear case of regime change.

The bench said it will take the matter up next Monday.

Naidu, 73, was arrested on September 9 for allegedly misappropriating funds from the Skill Development Corporation when he was the chief minister in 2015, causing a purported loss of Rs 371 crore to the state exchequer. His judicial remand has been extended by the trial court till October 5.

The CID, in its remand report, alleged that Naidu “indulged in a criminal conspiracy with the intention of fraudulent misappropriation or otherwise conversion of government funds for his own use, disposal of property which was under the control of a public servant, besides engaging in cheating, forging documents and destroying evidence”.

Naidu, the Telugu Desam Party chief, had moved the top court on September 23, challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court order dismissing his petition for quashing the FIR against him in connection with the alleged scam.

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