Supreme Court’s Hearing Date Set: The Supreme Court has scheduled the hearing for February 26th regarding the Andhra Pradesh government’s plea against a high court decision granting regular bail to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu in the Skill Development Corporation scam case.
Bench Adjourns Hearing: A bench comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal adjourned the hearing after being informed by senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing Naidu, that senior advocate Harish Salve would argue the matter, but he was unavailable that day.
Andhra Pradesh Government’s Request: Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki, appearing for the Andhra Pradesh government, urged the bench to fix an early date for hearing the appeal against the high court order.
Hearing Date Confirmed: The bench agreed to hear the matter on February 26th, listing it for two weeks later.
Background on Previous Verdict: On January 16th, the Supreme Court had delivered a split verdict on Naidu’s plea challenging the high court order, with Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi differing on the interpretation and applicability of section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.
Section 17A Interpretation: While Justice Bose opined that prior approval for probing the alleged offenses under the PC Act against Naidu was necessary, Justice Trivedi held that section 17A couldn’t be applied retrospectively.
Allegations Against Naidu: Naidu was arrested on September 9th last year for allegedly misappropriating funds from the Skill Development Corporation during his tenure as chief minister in 2015, causing a purported loss of Rs 371 crore to the state exchequer.
Bail Conditions: On November 20th, 2023, the Andhra Pradesh High Court converted Naidu’s interim medical bail into absolute bail, citing his age, old age-related ailments, and other reasons.
Government’s Appeal: The state government, seeking to overturn the high court’s decision, highlighted Naidu’s influence and alleged flight risks posed by his associates who fled the country.
Legal Battle Continues: Naidu’s legal saga continues, with the Supreme Court yet to decide on the Andhra Pradesh government’s plea against his bail in the skill development corporation scam case.