IRR alignment corruption case: SC rejects AP govt's plea challenging anticipatory bail granted to Naidu

The Inner Ring Road scam case pertains to manipulating the master plan of Amaravati capital city, and alignment of Inner Ring Road.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu(File Photo | EPS)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeal of Andhra Pradesh government challenging the State High Court's order granting anticipatory bail to former Chief Minister and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu in the alleged Inner Ring Road (IRR) alignment scam.

A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna and also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta rejected the appeal of the Andhra Pradesh State government, after noting that an appeal in the case arising from the same FIR involving other accused, was already dismissed by the court last year.

The bench said in view of the earlier order passed by apex court, it is not inclined to entertain the appeal of the State government.

It also said that, in case, the TDP President Naidu does not cooperate in the investigation, the State government would be at liberty to move court for cancellation of bail.

The AP govt had last week filed an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the State's High Court order granting anticipatory bail to former Chief Minister and TDP Chief, Naidu in the alleged Inner Ring Road (IRR) alignment scam.

Initially, the AP HC had on January 10, granted anticipatory bail to Naidu on various grounds, including the fact that the complainant initiated criminal process after a lapse of 3 years (allegedly due to political vendetta). It also granted Naidu the anticipatory bail, after noting that Naidu was not a flight risk, and thereby he should be granted bail.

"This Court finds that the custodial interrogation of the Petitioner (Naidu) is not required to conduct further investigation," the AP HC had said in its order, while granting anticipatory bail to him.

This order had been challenged by the AP Stae govt before the Apex Court through an Special Leave Petition (SLP).

The AP govt had said that Naidu is accused of corrupt practices in creation of the Master Plan for AP's capital Amaravati and the alignment of an IRR (to benefit entities and persons associated to him.

The case was registered against Naidu, and certain other government officials, under Sections 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy), 420 (Cheating) and 34 (Common intention to commit a crime or offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and certain sections of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

The AP govt had alleged that while selecting agencies for designing Master Plan for Amaravati, IRR alignment and Seed Capital, Naidu and others abused their official positions to favor certain entities in furtherance of a quid pro quo arrangement and caused loss to the public exchequer.

The HC, while granting anticipatory bail to Naidu, had said in its order that the State was unable to show any misappropriation of funds for the personal benefit of Naidu.

The AP govt, in its SLP filed before the SC, had said that Naidu is trying to derail the investigation.

It is to be noted that Naidu is facing charges in 3 other alleged scams --the FiberNet scam, the Skill Development scam and the Liquor scam (illegal licensing of liquor companies).

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