AP govt moves SC against bail to TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu in the Skill Development Corporation scam case

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against a high court order granting regular bail to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu in the Skill Development Corporation scam case.

Seeking direction to set aside the high court verdict, the state government said that the accused (Naidu) is an "influential person" and "has ensured that two of his key associates (including a government servant) have already fled the Country.

"The accused is therefore clearly obstructing the conduct of the investigation and, therefore, ought not to be granted bail," it said.

On November 20, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had granted bail to Naidu while noting that the discretion to grant bail should be exercised judiciously in a humane and compassionate manner.

The state government, in its appeal, said that the high court in its 39-page verdict has not only conducted a "mini trial" but has also "completely erred", rendering findings that are completely contrary to the record.

The appeal filed through advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki said, "The state of Andhra Pradesh is constrained to file the present Special Leave Petition against the impugned judgment dated November 20, 2023 passed by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravati...

"The High Court, in a bail matter, has delved deep into facts of the case and has rendered findings that are not only factually incorrect but are also likely to prejudice the court below during the Trial." While referring to various apex court verdicts, the state government said that the practice of detailed elaboration of evidence in bail orders has been repeatedly deprecated by this court.

"A bare perusal of the findings would reveal that the High Court has exceeded its jurisdiction by conducting a mini trial and rendering findings on merits. This, it is most respectfully submitted, ought not to be allowed," the appeal said.

The high court had converted Naidu's four-week interim medical bail in the case into absolute bail and ordered the former chief minister's release on regular bail, considering his age, old age-related ailments, non-flight risk and other reasons.

It had said that the interim bail conditions such as refraining from making any public comments related to the Skill Development Corporation scam case or organising or participating in public rallies and meetings will continue to be in force till November 28 and will be relaxed from November 29.

Further, the high court had directed Naidu to produce his medical reports to the Special Court in Vijayawada on or before November 28 instead of submitting them to the Superintendent of Rajamahendravaram Central Prison.

The high court had said it was not convinced by Naidu's claim that the Skill Development Corporation scam case was politically motivated against him as regime revenge by the incumbent government.

The TDP chief recently underwent cataract surgery at L V Prasad Hospital in Hyderabad.

He was arrested on September 9 and released on interim medical bail on October 31, which is now made regular.

Naidu is accused of misappropriating funds from the Skill Development Corporation, which resulted in a purported loss of over Rs 300 crore to the state exchequer.

On October 17, the top court denied interim bail to Naidu and said it would pronounce verdict on his plea challenging the high court order refusing to quash the FIR against him in the Skill Development Corporation scam case. PTI MNL MNL RT RT