AP High Court prohibits Chandrababu Naidu from attending political rallies, speaking to media

The court further rejected the AP-CID's plea to assign two DSP-ranked officers to accompany the TDP supremo to monitor his activities.

ByBhaskar Basava

Published Nov 03, 2023 | 1:36 PM Updated Nov 03, 2023 | 1:37 PM

Chandrababu Naidu walking out of Rajamahendravaram Central Prison after interim bail was granted. (Supplied)

The High Court of Andhra Pradesh, on Friday, 3 November, prohibited TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu from attending political rallies and asked him to abstain from speaking to the media on the skill development case, in connection to which he was arrested on 9 September.

The high court was delivering its verdict in connection with Naidu’s bail conditions. However, the court rejected the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (AP-CID)’s request to assign two DSP-ranked officers to accompany Naidu.

The TDP supremo, who was remanded in judicial custody a day after his arrest, walked out of the Rajamahendravaram Central Prison on 31 October on interim bail for 28 days.

Also read: As Naidu walks out of jail on bail, TDP cadres burst into celebrations

Restrictions imposed on Naidu 

Final verdict copy passed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court

Final verdict passed by the Andhra Pradesh HC. (Supplied)

After Naidu was granted bail, the Andhra Pradesh government filed submissions regarding his interaction with the media and political activities. It wanted Naidu to confine himself solely to medical treatment, as he was granted bail on health grounds.

However, Naidu’s legal team requested another day to file a counter.

Meanwhile, the court imposed restrictions, prohibiting him from attending political rallies, granting media interviews, or making any public statements regarding the case.

However, Naidu had, by then, already delivered his first speech, thanking political parties and cadres for their support. He asserted that nothing would shatter him.

Later, he was escorted to his residence at Tadepalle with party workers lining up on either side of the road and rallying behind him.

The Begumpet police in Hyderabad registered a case against TDP workers for taking out a rally without permission and disrupting vehicular traffic.

Also Read: Naidu’s journey home: YSRCP alleges violation of bail conditions

‘Not a blanket ban or violation of fundamental rights’

The state government also submitted that Naidu had violated the bail conditions and addressed the media immediately after walking out on bail. The government reiterated the need for two DSPs to accompany him to monitor his activities.

But Justice T Mallikarjuna Rao rejected the CID’s plea. The court noted, “The evidence presented does not indicate that the respondent organised the political rally or conducted a public meeting. It demonstrates that several people gathered to greet him after his release and he expressed gratitude to them. It is essential to recognise that the respondent may not be in a position to prevent people from coming to see him and it is natural for him to respond when people greet him.”

While prohibiting Naidu from attending political rallies, the court noted, “It is important to note that this is not a blanket ban nor a violation of his fundamental rights. Instead, it is a reasonable restriction imposed by the court.”