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HC grants interim bail to Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted interim bail to former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for four weeks on health grounds in the AP State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) case. Pronouncing the orders, Justice T. Mallikarjuna Rao granted interim bail till November 28 for his treatment including cataract surgery.

The interim bail is subject to certain conditions. Naidu has been directed to submit a surety of Rs 1 lakh. The court asked him not to influence anyone related to the case and surrender on November 29. The orders came as a relief for the 73-year-old leader who has been in jail for 52 days.

The High Court also decided to take up on November 10 the hearing on the regular bail petition of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief. The Crime Investigation Department (CID) had arrested Naidu on September 9 in the Skill Development scam which allegedly took place when he was the chief minister. He is currently lodged in Rajahmundry Central Jail.

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Vijayawada ACB Court had dismissed his bail petition on October 9. The TDP supremo had challenged the order in the High Court. Later, his counsels had moved a petition for interim bail in view of his poor health condition in the jail. On behalf of Naidu, D. Srinivas argued the case. Senior lawyer Siddharth Luthra virtually presented his arguments. 

Additional Advocate General P. Sudhakar Reddy argued the case on behalf of the government. After hearing the arguments from both sides, the court had on Monday reserved its orders.

The CID on Monday registered another corruption case against Naidu. This pertains to illegal permissions given to liquor companies in the state when he was the chief minister.

The CID has named him accused number three in the case. It informed Vijayawada ACB Court on Monday about booking the latest case under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Meanwhile, Naidu’s counsels moved an anticipatory bail petition in this case and sought an immediate hearing.

This is the fourth case registered against Naidu since he was arrested by the CID in the Skill Development Corporation case on September 9. There is an allegation against Naidu and others that they caused a loss of Rs 300 crore to the state exchequer in the name of setting up a skill development centre. On September 11, the investigating agency had filed a Prisoner Transit (PT) warrant petition against Naidu in the Amaravati Inner Ring Road.

The CID filed another PT warrant petition against Chandrababu Naidu in the FiberNet scam. The CID has alleged that the work order for the first phase of the AP FiberNet Project of Rs 321 crore was allotted to Terasoftware in violation of rules and by manipulating the tender process. The project was aimed at providing optical fiber connectivity to villages and towns across the state.

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