Skill development scam: Supreme Court refuses to quash FIR against TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu : The Tribune India

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Skill development scam: Supreme Court refuses to quash FIR against TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu

The apex court delivered split verdict on need for prior sanction to prosecute Naidu

Skill development scam: Supreme Court refuses to quash FIR against TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu

The Supreme Court rejected TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s petition seeking quashing of an FIR against him in the Skill Development Corporation scam case. PTI file



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, January 16

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s petition seeking quashing of an FIR against him in the Skill Development Corporation scam case even as it delivered a split verdict on prior sanction to prosecute the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988.

A Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Bela M Trivedi – which upheld the remand order passed by a Magistrate’s court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s decision dismissing his plea for quashing of the FIR, differed on the interpretation section 17-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act and its applicability in the case.

In view of the split verdict, the Bench directed that the matter be placed before the Chief Justice of India for appropriate directions. Now, CJI DY Chandrachud will set up a larger Bench for an authoritative pronouncement on the legal issues involved in the matter.

Added to the PCA in 2018, Section 17A requires a police officer to seek prior sanction from the competent authority for conducting any enquiry or inquiry or investigation into any alleged offence of corruption committed by a public servant.

While Justice Bose ruled that prior sanction for conducting probe into the alleged offences under the PCA against Naidu was needed, Justice Trivedi differed and went on to dismiss Naidu’s appeal.

While refusing to quash the remand order against Naidu, Justice Bose said, “The lack of approval will not make the remand order non-est,” and granted liberty to the State of Andhra Pradesh to seek the approval needed under Section 17-A.

But Justice Trivedi upheld the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order refusing to quash the FIR, saying Section 17A will not apply retrospectively.

“The impugned order of remand and impugned judgment of the high court does not suffer from any illegality,” Justice Trivedi pronounced.

Naidu had sought quashing of the FIR and challenged his arrest and subsequent remand in in the Rs 3,300 crore scam in setting up skill development centres in the state.

Arrested on September 9, 2023 for alleged misappropriation of funds of the Skill Development Corporation as Chief Minister in 2015 and causing a loss of Rs 371 crore to the state exchequer, Naidu has been denying the allegations. The High Court had granted him regular bail in the case on November 20 last year.

Naidu had moved the top court challenging the high court order dismissing his petition for quashing the FIR against him in connection with the alleged scam.

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#Andhra Pradesh #Supreme Court


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