Skill Development Corporation scam case: Andhra HC reserves orders on ex-CM Naidu's plea seeking quashing of FIR

PTI | Amaravati | Updated: 19-09-2023 22:25 IST | Created: 19-09-2023 22:25 IST
Skill Development Corporation scam case: Andhra HC reserves orders on ex-CM Naidu's plea seeking quashing of FIR
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The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday reserved orders on a petition filed by former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu seeking quashing of an FIR filed against him by the police in the Skill Development Corporation scam case and the judgment is expected to be pronounced within two days' time.

The court heard arguments from the legal counsels of Naidu and the AP Crime Investigation Department.

Senior counsels Harish Salve, who joined virtually, and Siddarth Luthra represented Naidu and argued that the CID did not obtain prior permission from the Governor as it is a mandatory requirement for police to seek prior approval for conducting any inquiry or investigation into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant.

However, Mukul Rohatgi, who joined virtually on behalf of the CID from Delhi, and also supplemented by Ranjit Kumar and Additional Advocate General P Sudhakar Reddy, argued that Section 17 (A) of CrPC is not applicable to the TDP supremo and informed the court that an intensive investigation is required in the case.

He also said there was an embezzlement of government funds which should be taken up seriously.

Incidentally, Naidu's lawyers contended there was no case made out against him as the Skill Development Corporation scam was allegedly a transaction between two private entities, one of which entered into a tripartite agreement.

''Their argument was based on the lack of sanction under 17 (A) CrPC Act, which was repelled by our (CID) side. We said that there is definitely a prima facie case made out because all the material is there on record,'' Special Public Prosecutor Y N Vivekananda, who is part of AP CID's legal team, told PTI.

Vivekananda noted the CID's legal team argued that the former chief minister's prosecution is maintainable and Section 17 (A) of the CrPC cannot be applied as Andhra Pradesh High Court has already considered it twice, and also the Kerala High Court in another judgment.

So, he reasoned that for an incident which took place prior to the amendment of this provision in law, which requires prior sanction, Section 17 (A) of CrPC cannot be applied.

While Vivekananda observed that since Section 17 (A) of CrPC was inserted by an amendment in 2018 and the FIR in the Skill Development Corporation Scam case was registered in 2021, Naidu's lawyers asserted that prior sanction ought to have been taken.

However, he highlighted that the 2018 amendment is not applicable as the alleged crime took place prior to that year somewhere between 2015 and 2016, hence no sanction is needed.

He also said the judgment in the petition seeking to quash the FIR is expected within two days.

''We are expecting the order by tomorrow (Wednesday, September 20) or at the most by day after tomorrow (Thursday, September 21),'' Vivekananda added.

Chandrababu Naidu was arrested on September 9, in connection with a case involving misappropriation of funds from the Skill Development Corporation, leading to an alleged loss of over Rs 300 crore to the state government.

He is currently lodged in the Rajamahendravaram central prison.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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