HYDERABAD: Mahabubabad TRS MLA B Shankar Naik, accused of misbehaving with the then Mahabubabad District Collector at a public meeting organised during the launch of Haritha Haram in 2017, was acquitted of the charges by a special court.
It is learnt that the then Collector, an IAS officer, did not support the prosecution case. On Monday, a Special Court for trial of cases against MPs and MLAs at Hyderabad said: “The accused is found not guilty for the offences charged and accordingly acquitted.”
In July 2017, a case was registered against Shankar Naik in Mahabubabad under Section 353 — assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, 354 — assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, and 509 — word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman, on a complaint lodged by the Collector. The MLA was arrested and released on station bail.
The Collector also informed the then Chief Secretary and the IAS Officers’ Association, who brought the issue to the notice of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Taking a serious note of the incident, the CM instructed Shankar Naik to “immediately meet the Collector and tender an unconditional apology.”
The MLA then met the Collector and apologised, but she went ahead with the case. However, during the trial, she neither supported the case nor gave evidence against the MLA, resulting in the latter’s acquittal.