Chandrababu Naidu gets regular bail from HC, can resume political activities
In a 39-page verdict, justice Rao said it was evident from the records that Chandrababu Naidu was shown as an accused in the case 22 months after the registration of the case in the alleged crime
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh high court on Monday granted regular bail to Telugu Desam Party president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the multi-crore skill development corporation case.
After an extensive hearing over the bail petition filed by Naidu, a high court bench headed by justice Tallapragada Mallikarjun Rao ruled that Naidu, who had been on four-week interim bail on medical grounds since October 31, was entitled to regular bail.
In a 39-page verdict, justice Rao said it was evident from the records that Naidu had been shown as an accused in the case 22 months after the registration of the case in the alleged crime.
“The case against him was filed just before his arrest. There is no indication on the record that, during this period of one year and ten months, the petitioner (Naidu) interfered with the investigation. The prosecution has not made any such claim either,” the bench said.
HT has reviewed a copy of the verdict.
The high court ordered that Naidu be released on regular bail based on a bail bond already furnished by him in respect of this case while obtaining the interim bail.
The 73-year-old TDP president was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department of Andhra Pradesh police on September 9 at Nandyal for his alleged involvement in an alleged scam in the AP Skill Development Corporation during his Telugu Desam Party’s regime from 20014 to 2019.
The CID alleged that Naidu was the primary accused in the case, allegedly involving the transfer of ₹371 crore of government funds to shell companies. He was sent to Rajahmundry central jail on the night of September 10 and it was extended from time to time till October 31, when he was released on interim bail on medical grounds as per the high court order.
The bench noted that the restrictions placed on Naidu at the time of his release on interim bail, which barred him from making public comments relating to the case, participating in public meetings and appearing in the media, would now be dispensed with.
“Placing such conditions will have an impact on the electoral prospectus of the petitioner’s political party. They will now be relaxed with effect from November 29,” justice Rao said.
He also asked the TDP president to place the details about his treatment and submit all medical records before the anti-corruption bureau special court, Vijayawada on or before November 28, when the interim bail period ends.
Naidu’s son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh described his father’s release on regular bail as a triumph of the truth.
“Despite the delay due to management of systems by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government, it has once again proved that truth will always win. The CID could not produce even a single evidence before the court showing the involvement of Naidu in the skill development case,” he said, in a statement.
Lokesh alleged that Jagan Mohan Reddy conspired to tarnish his father’s image and throw him behind bars for political vendetta. “But with the high court declaring that there was no evidence to prove Naidu’s role, he has come out clean,” he said.
YSR Congress party spokesman and state irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu said Naidu was not given a clean chit by the court but was granted only bail.
“There is no need for the TDP to rejoice, as the court has not exonerated Naidu in the skill development case. He has just got the bail on technical grounds. If the TDP leaders lose control and abuse the chief minister, they will have to pay a heavy price,” Rambabu said.