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Chandrababu Naidu’s Plea Seeking House Arrest Rejected

A special court for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) cases in Vijayawada on Tuesday rejected a petition filed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu seeking house-imprisonment, people familiar with the matter said.

Naidu, who was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) police on Saturday morning in connection with ₹371 crore state skill development corporation scam, has been in Rajahmundry central prison on a two-week judicial remand since the early hours of Monday, after he was denied bail by the ACB court on Sunday night.

ACB court judge Justice Hima Bindu, who reserved her judgement after hearing the arguments of the petitioner and the state government on Monday, delivered the judgement, saying there was no need for house-detention of Naidu as there was enough security for him in Rajahmundry jail.

She agreed with the arguments of state additional advocate general Ponnavolu Sudhakar Reddy that the jail was safer for Naidu than his house, where it would not be possible for the state police to monitor his security.

She also agreed with his contention that there was a possibility of Naidu influencing the witnesses and tampering evidence if he was allowed to stay at home. “Hence, she rejected Naidu’s plea for house imprisonment,” the person said.

Naidu’s counsel and senior advocate Siddharth Luthra contended that his client had been facing a severe threat perception and there was no adequate security for him in Rajahmundry central jail, which also housed several hardcore criminals.

“Naidu, who is under Z-plus category security and guarded by National Security Guard (NSG) commandoes, would be safer if he is kept under detention in his own house, where he would have access to proper food and medical facilities,” Luthra argued.

The state Crime Investigation Department (CID) filed a separate petition in the court seeking 15 days of custody of Naidu. It is expected to come up for hearing on Wednesday, Sudhakar Reddy said.

The TDP legal cell filed a petition in Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging the arrest. In its petition, the TDP’s legal cell questioned the applicability of Section 409 by the CID in the FIR.