The Andhra Pradesh government has taken the matter to the Supreme Court, challenging a High Court decision that granted regular bail to Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N Chandrababu Naidu in the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation scam case.
The state government, in a special leave petition (SLP), asserted that Naidu, being an influential figure, assisted two key associates, including a government servant, in fleeing the country, hindering the investigation.
Advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki, representing the state government, contended, “the State of Andhra Pradesh is constrained to file the Special Leave Petition against the impugned judgment dated November 20, 2023 passed by the High Court. It has delved deep into facts of the case and has rendered findings that are not only factually incorrect, but are also likely to prejudice the court below during the trial.”
The appeal argued that the detailed elaboration of evidence in bail orders, as done by the High Court, is frowned upon by the Supreme Court.
Additional Advocate General (AAG) Ponnavolu Sudhakar Reddy stated that the state approached the apex court because they believed the bail order was incorrect and that the High Court exceeded its jurisdiction.
He highlighted that during the bail plea arguments, the state informed the High Court about the Supreme Court's involvement in the matter, but the objections were allegedly not reflected in the bail order.
The AAG emphasised that the investigation was ongoing, with the Enforcement Directorate also looking into the case.
He pointed out that evidence, including note files objecting to fund release and a forensic audit report indicating a diversion of Rs 240 crore, was presented to the High Court.
The AAG further stated that the High Court conducted a 'mini-trial' during the bail grant, stating it violated procedural rules.
Notably, the Supreme Court had earlier denied interim bail to Naidu on 17 October, indicating that it would announce its decision on his plea, challenging the High Court's refusal to quash the FIR in the APSSDC case, after the Diwali vacation.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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