FibreNet case: SC asks AP Police not to arrest Chandrababu Naidu till verdict in plea related to Skill Development scam

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Andhra Pradesh Police not to arrest TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu in the FibreNet case till it delivers verdict on the plea in the Skill Development scam case.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi listed the anticipatory bail of Naidu in the FibreNet Case for hearing on November 9 and told the Andhra Pradesh Police, “Let the earlier understanding continue.”

The bench was referring to the statement of the Andhra Pradesh Police on October 13, when it had said that police will not take Naidu into custody.

Justice Bose said since the order is reserved on another plea, it would be appropriate if the court takes up the instant plea of Naidu after the verdict is delivered.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Naidu, said police are looking to take him into custody in FibreNet case despite the fact that he is already in custody in the Skill Development scam case.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Andhra Pradesh government said for custodial interrogation of Naidu in the FibreNet case, it will seek permission of the court as he is already in judicial custody in another case.He said that the state has no problem in awaiting the judgement of the court.

The bench said, “Let the earlier understanding continue” and adjourned the matter.

On October 13, the Andhra Pradesh Police told the top court they will not arrest Naidu in the FiberNet case till October 18 due to the pendency of his petition related to the Skill Development Corporation scam in the apex court.

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The FiberNet case relates to alleged tender manipulation in allotting a work order under Phase-1 of the AP FiberNet Project involving Rs 330 crore to a favoured company.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh Police has alleged irregularities in the project right from awarding the tender to completion of the work, causing a huge loss to the state exchequer.

Naidu, 73, was arrested on September 9 for allegedly misappropriating funds from the Skill Development Corporation when he was the chief minister in 2015, causing a purported loss of Rs 371 crore to the state exchequer. He is under judicial remand in the Rajamahendravaram central prison.

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