The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted interim bail for four weeks to former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on medical grounds in connection with the alleged skill development scam, reported Live Law.
The Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department had arrested Naidu on September 9 for his alleged involvement in siphoning off approximately Rs 371 crore belonging to the Skill Development Corporation through fictitious companies when he was the chief minister.
On Tuesday, Naidu’s advocate told the High Court that the the Telugu Desam Party chief needs to undergo cataract surgery, reported PTI.
The High Court, while granting bail, directed Naidu to surrender to prison authorities on November 28.
“With a humanitarian perspective in mind and considering the petitioner’s health condition, this court is inclined to grant temporary bail on health grounds to the petitioner...enabling him to undergo the required surgery on his right eye,” the court said in its order.
The court directed Naidu to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties of the same amount. The court also ordered him to provide details of the treatment he received in a sealed cover to the jail superintendent at the time of his surrender.
“The petitioner shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat, or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the court or any other authority,” it added.
The court will take up Naidu’s petition for regular bail on November 10.
The Telugu Desam Party chief walked out of the jail hours after he was granted bail. “When I was in trouble, you all came on the roads and prayed for me,” he told the party supporters, reported ANI. “I will never forget the affection shown to me, not only in Andhra Pradesh but also in Telangana and across the world.”
Cases against Naidu
The Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department has also named Naidu as an accused person in three other cases.
The agency has accused the former chief minister of irregularities in the construction of an internal ring road in Amaravati city.
Naidu played a crucial role in appointing a master planner of Amaravati on nomination basis when he was the chief minister between 2014 and 2019, the first information report in the case alleged. The road was designed in such a manner that it passed just adjacent to the properties of the accused persons, including Naidu, the FIR added. This led to an increase in the market value of the properties, the department alleged.
Another case pertains to riots that took place during a political rally taken out by Naidu in Annamayya district on August 4, PTI reported. Some ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party workers and police personnel were injured during the riots.
The third case against Naidu is that of an FiberNet Project scam. The project sought to offer internet and telephone services to every household in the state by installing optic fibers.
The Crime Investigation Department has alleged that there were irregularities and misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 321 crores in the project that was launched by Naidu when he was the chief minister, The News Minute reported.