FiberNet Case: FiberNet case: SC asks TDP chief Naidu and AP police not to make public statements related to it
New Delhi, The supreme court on Tuesday asked TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and the Andhra Pradesh police to
A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi asked senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Naidu, to ask the former chief minister to desist from speaking anything about the case in public.
At the outset, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Andhra Pradesh government, told the bench that despite express direction from the bench in the Skill Development Corporation case, Naidu has been making statements in public.
Luthra, on other hand, alleged that the state’s additional advocate general had held press conferences in Delhi and Hyderabad and made statements about criminal cases involving Naidu which are being probed by the state police.
The bench then asked both Kumar and Luthra to advise their respective clients against making public statements about the pending cases.
The bench, which was hearing Naidu’s anticipatory bail plea in the FiberNet case, adjourned the matter for January 17.
On October 20, the top court had asked the Andhra Pradesh Police to not arrest the 73-year-old leader in the FiberNet case until it has delivered the verdict in the Skill Development Corporation scam case.
Justice Bose had said since the order has been reserved in the Skill Development Corporation scam case, it would be appropriate if the court takes up Naidu’s anticipatory bail application after the verdict has been delivered.
The Andhra Pradesh Police had told the top court on October 13 that they will not arrest Naidu in the FiberNet case till October 18 due to the pendency of his petition related to the Skill Development Corporation scam in the apex court.
The FiberNet case relates to alleged tender manipulation in allotting a work order under Phase-1 of the AP FiberNet Project involving Rs 330 crore to a favoured company.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh Police has alleged irregularities in the project right from awarding the tender to completion of the work, causing a huge loss to the state exchequer.
On November 20, the Andhra Pradesh high court had converted Naidu’s four-week interim medical bail in the Skill Development Corporation scam case into absolute bail and ordered the former chief minister’s release on regular bail, considering his age, old age-related ailments, non-flight risk and other reasons.
Naidu, was arrested on September 9 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.