SC to hear today Naidu’s plea against HC order


The Supreme Court will hear a plea of TDP leader N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday, challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court order dismissing his petition for quashing the FIR against him in connection with an alleged scam in the Skill Development Corporation. A bench, comprising justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M. Trivedi, will take up the plea for hearing on 3 October. Previously on 27 September, the apex court stated that it would not restrain the trial court from dealing with a plea seeking police custody of Naidu as it announced that a new bench will hear his petition for quashing the FIR in the alleged Rs 371 crore scam in the state.
The plea by Naidu, who was arrested in the case on 9 September, came up before two benches in the top court, but without any effective hearing. Initially, it came up before the designated bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti, but the latter recused himself from hearing the matter on Wednesday.
Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the TDP leader, then rushed to the bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud for an urgent hearing on Naidu’s plea in view of the holidays during the week. The CJI Chandrachud-led bench stated that a new bench will hear Naidu’s plea. Naidu, 73, got arrested for allegedly misappropriating funds from the Skill Development Corporation when he was the chief minister in 2015, causing a purported loss of Rs 371 crore to the state exchequer. His judicial remand has been extended by the trial court till 5
The CID in its remand report alleged that Naidu “indulged in a criminal conspiracy with the intention of fraudulent misappropriation or otherwise conversion of government funds for his own use, disposal of property which was under the control of a public servant, besides engaging in cheating, forging documents and destroying evidence”.
Naidu, the Telugu Desam Party chief, moved the top court on 23 September, challenging the order of Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissing his petition for quashing the FIR against him in connection with the alleged scam. The high court rejected his plea last Friday.Previously, on 25 September, the top court asked Naidu’s lawyer to mention his petition for urgent listing on 26 September.
While dismissing his petition for quashing the FIR, the high court noted that it was devoid of merit and stated that the court was not inclined to interfere at this stage when the investigation was still going on.
The high court observed that police have the statutory right and duty under the relevant provisions of the CrPC to investigate a cognisable offence.
It had also stated that the power of quashing an FIR should be exercised sparingly with circumspection.