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CBN gets a breather: HC gives bail in Skill Development Case

Monday, November 20, 2023 • Telugu Comments
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Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Chandrababu Naidu has received regular bail from the Andhra Pradesh High Court in connection with the alleged 371 crore Skill Development Corporation scam case. The former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, who had been arrested over two months ago, had previously been granted interim medical bail for four weeks to undergo cataract surgery on his right eye.

Chandrababu Naidu is already out of jail, and the recent decision means he won't have to return on November 28, as previously ordered. Notably, he has also been cleared to resume political activities, providing a significant boost to him, TDP leaders, and their supporters, who are celebrating the bail as a victory for Chandrababu Naidu and the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Having been confined in the Rajahmundry central prison since September 10, following his arrest by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) in the multi-crore Skill Development Corporation scam, Naidu was remanded to judicial custody by the Special Court for ACB cases in Vijayawada.

The CID initiated a probe in March of this year into an alleged scam worth ₹3,300 crore in the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) during the previous TDP regime. The investigation stems from notices served to Arja Srikanth, a former Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer and CEO of APSSDC in 2016, based on statements from an accused turned approver and depositions by three IAS officers.

Established in 2016 during Naidu's tenure as CM, APSSDC aimed to empower unemployed youth by providing skill training to enhance their employability. According to the CID probe, the project was initiated without following the standard tendering process, and the cabinet did not provide clearance for the project, as alleged by the CID. The recent legal developments mark crucial milestones in Chandrababu Naidu's case and the ongoing investigation into the skill development scam.

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