Andhra Pradesh moves SC against HC granting regular bail to former CM Naidu in 'scam' case. State claims HC conducted mini-trial, erred in rendering findings contrary to record. Argues bail court must only follow triple test to decide bail. Accused of misappropriating ₹241 crore of public funds, expediting incorporation of APSSDC, entering MoU without tender process.
Andhra Pradesh on November 21 moved the Supreme Court against the grant of regular bail to former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu by the State High Court 24 hours ago in what it termed as a “mini-trial” held in the skill development ‘scam’ case.
The State said the High Court judgment, in a bail matter, had “delved deep into facts of the case and rendered findings that were not only factually incorrect but are also likely to prejudice the court below during the trial”.
The petition, represented by advocate Mahfooz A. Nazki, said the Supreme Court had itself deprecated the practice of lower courts going into a detailed elaboration of evidence in bail orders.
“The High Court has not only conducted a mini trial but has also completely erred rendering findings which are completely contrary to the record… The court must not undertake meticulous examination of the evidence collected by the police or order specific tests,” the State argued.
It said the bail court needed to only follow the triple test to decide whether or not to grant bail to an accused. These include whether the accused would likely abscond or influence witnesses or tamper with evidence.
The State claimed that Mr. Naidu had used his influence to “facilitate” the flight of two associates, Manoj V. Pardasany and Pendyala Srinivas, to the UAE and the U.S. immediately after the duo had received notices in relation to the investigation of the scam on September 5, 2023.
According to the State’s petition in the apex court, the alleged crime relates to a project involving the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC), Siemens Industry Software (India) Private Limited, and M/s DesignTech India Private Limited for the establishment of Siemens Centres of Excellence, Technical Skill Development Institution and Skill Development Centres in six clusters in Andhra Pradesh.