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AP govt moves SC against HC order granting anticipatory bail to Chandrababu Naidu

NEW DELHI: The Andhra Pradesh government has filed an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the state High Court’s order granting anticipatory bail to former Chief Minister and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu in the alleged Inner Ring Road (IRR) alignment scam.

According to the case list of the Top Court, the appeal filed by the AP government is scheduled to be heard on January 29, Monday, by the two-judge bench of the SC, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna and also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta.

Initially, the AP HC had granted anticipatory bail to Naidu on January 10 on various grounds, including the fact that the complainant initiated criminal proceedings after a lapse of three years (allegedly due to political vendetta). It also granted Naidu anticipatory bail after noting that Naidu was not a flight risk, and thereby he should be granted bail.

“This Court finds that the custodial interrogation of the petitioner (Naidu) is not required to conduct further investigation,” the AP HC had said in its order while granting anticipatory bail to him. This order is now challenged by the AP government before the Apex Court through a Special Leave Petition (SLP).

The AP government said that Naidu is accused of corrupt practices in the creation of the Master Plan for AP’s capital, Amaravati, and the alignment of an IRR to benefit entities and persons associated with him.

The case was registered against Naidu and certain other government officials under Sections 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy), 420 (Cheating), and 34 (Common Intention to Commit a Crime or Offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and certain sections of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

The AP government alleged that while selecting agencies for designing the Master Plan for Amaravati, IRR alignment, and Seed Capital, Naidu and others abused their official positions to favour certain entities in furtherance of a quid pro quo arrangement and caused loss to the public exchequer.

The HC, while granting anticipatory bail to Naidu, had said in its order that the state was unable to show any misappropriation of funds for the personal benefit of Naidu.

The AP government, in its SLP filed before the SC, said that Naidu is trying to derail the investigation.

It is to be noted that Naidu is facing charges in three other alleged scams: the FiberNet scam, the Skill Development scam, and the Liquor scam (illegal licencing of liquor companies).

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