The Andhra Pradesh High Court struck down Chandrababu Naidu’s petition for quashing the FIR registered by the CID in the skill development scam case and the consequential remand order of the Vijayawada ACB Court.
The single bench of Justice K. Sreenivas Reddy has reasoned that the decision taken or recommendation made by petitioner to grant sanction for payment of money on the basis of the documents and committing misappropriation of amount cannot be considered as acts done by him in discharge of his official duties or functions. Therefore, no prior approval from the competent authority was necessary for investigation into the offences alleged.
Naidu was arrested by the state CID early on September 9 in connection with the alleged multi-crore AP State Skill Development Corporation scam that occurred during his government’s tenure in 2014-19. An Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in Vijayawada had sent Naidu to 14-day judicial custody on September 10. He was shifted to Rajahmundry Central Jail, 200 km from Vijayawada, after the court order.
Naidu contended that the arrest under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act was invalid and said that the arrest and the remand were proper and that the case must be investigated.
The court said that a mini-trial could not be conducted at this stage, and none of the parameters laid down by the Supreme Court with regard to the circumstances under which a High Court could interfere in such petitions was satisfied.
The ruling was delivered by the Single Bench of A.P. High Court comprisingJustice K. Sreenivas Reddy
Advocate Harish Salve appeared for the Petitioner.