Skill Development Corporation scam case: SC issues notice to Chandrababu Naidu on AP govt’s plea

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on a plea by the Andhra Pradesh government against a high court order granting regular bail to him in the skill development corporation scam case.

A bench of justices Bela M Trivedi and SC Sharma issued notice to Naidu and sought his reply.

The top court also relaxed his bail condition and allowed him to participate in public rallies and meetings till December 8, which is the next date of hearing.

It, however, said that other bail conditions, including that the TDP leader will not make public statements or speak to the media about the case, will remain in force.

“Issue notice. Returnable on December 8. The conditions imposed in the bail order shall be continued except participation in public rallies and meetings,” the bench said.

The Andhra Pradesh High court had converted Naidu’s four-week interim medical bail in the case into absolute bail and ordered the former chief minister’s release on regular bail, considering his age, old age-related ailments, non-flight risk and other reasons.

It had said the interim bail conditions such as refraining from making any public comments related to the scam case or organising or participating in public rallies and meetings will continue to be in force till November 28 and will be relaxed from November 29.

Seeking direction to set aside the high court verdict, the state government said the accused (Naidu) is an “influential person” and “has ensured that two of his key associates, including a government servant, have already fled the country.

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On November 20, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had granted bail to Naidu while noting that the discretion to grant bail should be exercised judiciously in a humane and compassionate manner.

The TDP chief recently underwent cataract surgery at L V Prasad Hospital in Hyderabad.

He was arrested on September 9 and released on interim medical bail on October 31, which is now made regular.

Naidu is accused of misappropriating funds from the Skill Development Corporation, which resulted in a purported loss of over Rs 300 crore to the state exchequer.

On October 17, the top court denied interim bail to Naidu and said it would pronounce verdict on his plea challenging the high court order refusing to quash the FIR against him in the skill development corporation scam case. 

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