SC adjourns hearing on Chandrababu Naidu’s plea seeking anticipatory bail to Nov 30

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned to November 30 the hearing on TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s plea seeking anticipatory bail in the FibreNet case.

A bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi deferred the matter, saying that the judgement in another petition filed by Naidu seeking quashing of plea in the skill development scam case is likely to be delivered after the court’s Diwali vacation.

“There is another petition by the same petitioner which has certain overlapping issues in which judgement has been reserved by this bench. Let the matter be listed for hearing on November 30,” the bench said. During the brief hearing, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Naidu, said the initial arrangement that the police would not arrest Naidu should continue.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Andhra Pradesh government, said the arrangement is continuing. The top court had earlier asked the Andhra Pradesh Police not to arrest Naidu in the FibreNet case till it delivers its verdict on the plea in the skill development scam case.

It had 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. On October 13, the Andhra Pradesh Police told the top court it 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 case in the apex court. 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 the 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.