Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was taken to Rajamahendravaram central prison in the wee hours of Monday after a court in Vijayawada sent him to judicial custody for 14 days in a multi-crore corruption case.
He was taken to the prison at around 1:20 am on Monday. In view of this, the TDP has called for a state-wide shutdown on September 11. Earlier, a Vijayawada anti-corruption bureau (ACB) court sent Chandrababu Naidu to 14-day judicial custody in connection with an alleged skill development scam.
Naidu was produced in the court on Sunday morning amid tight security, a day after being arrested in a case of alleged corruption. The court delivered the order nearly six hours after arguments by lawyers on behalf of the AP CID and Naidu ended. CID lawyers sought 15 days’ remand, while Naidu’s lawyers submitted an application to reject the remand application.
While Naidu is in judicial custody, the CID will have to seek permission from the court to question him. Naidu will appeal against the Anti-Corruption Bureau court’s order in the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday,
Meanwhile, the probe agency said Naidu was non-cooperative during questioning and replied vaguely saying he did not remember certain issues. Seeking his judicial custody, the remand report said though the officials arranged a chopper to take him to Vijayawada from Nandyal where he was arrested, the Leader of the Opposition refused. The convoy was obstructed several times by TDP cadres which is an indication of intimidating law enforcement officials by virtue of his position.
“He was asked questions based on the note files, which form part of the evidence in this case diary. But to all the questions he was non-cooperative and replied vaguely that he could not recollect the facts. In this regard, the report was drafted in the presence of the mediators and duly attested by him,” the report said.
The CID report further said after reaching the office of the CID, Naidu was questioned about his role in the offences in the presence of mediators. He was given breaks as per his request to consult a legal counsel, to meet the members of his family and have food and refreshments.
It said the TDP chief is not a flight risk. The CID alleged that Chandrababu Naidu and the Telugu Desam Party were the “end beneficiaries” of the misappropriated funds.
The CID named G Subba Rao and K Lakshminarayana, former government employees, as A1 and A2 respectively in the case. According to the remand report submitted to the court, Naidu was named as Accused 37 (A37) in the case.
Naidu was arrested in a pre-dawn operation on Saturday at Nandyal for his alleged role in a multi-crore Skill Development Corporation scam, which involved officers knocking on the door of the caravan in which he was sleeping.
The former CM was arrested by the CID around 6 am on Saturday from a marriage hall (outside which his caravan was parked) at Gnanapuram in Nandyal. The CID chief N Sanjay had said Naidu was the “principal conspirator” in the case.