SC to hear AP govt’s plea against Naidu’s bail on Jan 19

New Delhi:┬áThe Supreme Court will hear the Andhra Pradesh government’s plea against a high court order granting regular bail to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu in the skill development corporation scam case on January 19.

A bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Satish Chandra Sharma on Friday adjourned the hearing in the matter after senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Naidu, sought time to file a reply to the state government’s plea.

On November 28, the top court sought a response from Naidu on the plea.

The top court had also relaxed the bail condition of the 73-year-old leader and allowed him to participate in public rallies and meetings till December 8, is the next date of hearing.

It, however, said other bail conditions, including him not making public statements or speaking to the media about the case, will remain in force.

On November 20, the Andhra Pradesh high court 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 said 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 in its appeal before the top court said Naidu is an “influential person” and “has ensured that two of his key associates, including a government servant, have already fled the country”.

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. This 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 a verdict on his plea challenging the high court order refusing to quash the FIR against him in the skill development corporation scam case.