Andhra High Court reserves judgement on bail petition by Chandrababu Naidu in APSSDC scam case

The arguments centred around the PC Act, 1988 invoked by the CID and the degree of Naidu's role in the alleged scam, among others.

BySouth First Desk

Published Nov 17, 2023 | 1:57 PMUpdatedNov 17, 2023 | 1:57 PM

People rallying behind TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu after he was granted bail by the Andhra Pradesh High Court (@JaiTDP twitter)

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday, 17 November, reserved its judgement on the bail petition filed by former chief minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu in connection with the AP Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) scam case.

The Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) was represented by Additional Advocate General (AAG) P Sudhakar Reddy while Senior lawyer Siddarth Luthra argued on behalf of Naidu.

During the hearing, arguments centred around the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 invoked by the CID and the degree of Naidu’s role in the alleged scam, among others.

The high court reserved its orders after hearing the arguments of both sides.

Also read: Why getting Naidu’s endorsement is a necessity for BJP, gamble for TDP

Supreme Court hearing

The Supreme Court had, on 17 October, reserved its order on his plea seeking to quash the FIR against him in the APSSDC scam.

On 9 November, the apex court adjourned to 30 November the hearing on Naidu’s anticipatory bail petition in the FiberNet case.

The court also extended Naidu protection from arrest in the case till it hears the matter.

On 13 October, the Andhra Pradesh government had assured the top court that it would not arrest the former chief minister in the FiberNet case till 18 October. The undertaking was reiterated on 17 October and 20 October.

Currently, Naidu is on a four-week temporary bail and recently underwent a cataract surgery at a hospital in Hyderabad. He is recuperating in his Hyderabad residence.

Naidu is required to report at the Rajamahendravaram Central prison before 5 pm on 28 November.

Also read: AP HC prohibits Naidu from attending political rallies, speaking to media

The arrest and the case

The CID arrested Naidu on 9 September over the alleged APSSDC scam

The case revolved around the establishment of clusters of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in Andhra Pradesh, with a total estimated project value of ₹3,300 crore. The alleged fraud caused a huge loss to the Government of Andhra Pradesh to the tune of ₹371 crore.

According to the CID, the investigation revealed serious irregularities which included the release of an advance of ₹371 crore as a 10 percent share of the government even before the private entities came up with a promised share of 90 percent.

Most of the money advanced by the government was diverted to shell companies through fake invoices, with no actual delivery or sale of the items mentioned in the invoices. A portion of the funds was used to create the CoE clusters, a departure from the official procedure, while the rest was routed through shell companies.

(With PTI inputs)