ACB court rejects Naidu's plea for house remand
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sampat G Samaritan
VIJAYAWADA: Telugu Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu’s petition seeking house remand, instead of at the Rajahmundry central prison, was rejected by the ACB Court on Tuesday, on the grounds that the prison was safer for Naidu.
ACB court judge B. Satya Venkata Hima Bindu, pronouncing the verdict after hearing both parties in a marathon session here on Tuesday, in the AP skill development case, said that as "Naidu was an NSG protectee, it would not be possible to provide such a high level protection at a house".
Additional advocate general Ponnavolu Sudhakar Reddy, representing AP CID, argued strongly for the rejection of Naidu’s petition.
Naidu’s counsel Siddartha Luthra argued that the TD chief was facing a threat to life and as he was an NSG protectee, state government should not interfere in his security cover.
Following the dismissal, Naidu’s counsel moved the High Court with a plea to quash the FIR and remand report submitted by the CID. Further, the plea also sought a stay on further proceedings. The court is likely to hear the plea on Wednesday.
Later, Sudhakar Reddy told mediapersons that under Section 167 of the CrPC, there were only two custodies, with one being judicial remand and the other being police custody. "For an accused in a case, there is no provision for house remand," he said.
The additional advocate general said that the state government, on humanitarian grounds, ordered the provision of requisite medicines for Naidu round-the-clock and also allowed homemade food. He said security was beefed up for Naidu and the entire area where Naidu was accommodated was a sanitised special room. Further, no other person was being allowed into the barracks to avoid any trouble to Naidu, he said, referring to a letter from the DGP to the ACB court.
Sudhakar Reddy said that no government would provide such a high level of security taking full responsibility to ensure safety to Naidu in the Central Prison, claiming it would bear the burden for any lapse. He said that they were following norms laid down by both the Centre and state government to provide security to Naidu.
Referring to criticism that Naidu was arrested despite his name not figuring in the FIR, Sudhakar Reddy said that in the course of the investigation, there was a provision to add the names of the accused once they were identified.
In the wake of Naidu’s family members expressing concern over his safety of Naidu, he said that the government would provide increased security arrangements if the family members came up with a proposal.
He said that CID’s petition seeking Naidu’s custody for further inquiry into the AP skill development scam would be taken up for hearing on Wednesday.