Skill Development scam: SC to deliver verdict on Chandrababu Naidu’s plea on Tue

Special bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M. Trivedi will pronounce the judgment in the matter on January 16.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will deliver on Tuesday its verdict on a plea filed by Telugu Desam Party supremo and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu challenging criminal proceedings initiated against him in connection with the alleged Skill Development Corporation scam case.

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As per the causelist published on the website of the apex court, a special bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M. Trivedi will pronounce the judgment in the matter on January 16.

In October 2023, the top court reserved its verdict after hearing both parties — Naidu and Andhra Pradesh government — on the question whether proceedings against the former CM could have been initiated without getting a sanction from the Governor of the state.

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During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, who appeared on state government’s behalf, contended that the provision of the law requiring prior sanction would not apply as enquiry against Naidu was initiated in 2018.

He said that a detailed investigation is required to be carried out by the probe agency and Naidu’s plea seeking quashing of criminal proceedings should not be allowed by the apex court.

On the other hand, Naidu had pleaded that both the initiation of the enquiry and the registration of the FIR against him is non est (non-existent in law) as both have been initiated without a mandatory approval under Section 17-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

In September 2023, a single judge bench of Justice S. Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed Naidu’s petition to quash the FIR registered against him and to set aside his judicial remand.

Later, Naidu was ordered to be released on regular bail on the bail bond already furnished by him by a bench of Justice T Mallikarjuna Rao of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on November 20 last year. The Andhra Pradesh government has moved the Supreme Court questioning the decision of the High Court.

In the FiberNet case, the state CID has undertaken before the apex court that it will not arrest Naidu till January 17 — the next date of hearing.

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