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Supreme Court Adjourns Hearing on Chandrababu Naidu’s FiberNet Scam Plea

New Delhi, November 9, 2023 – The Supreme Court of India has deferred the hearing on a plea filed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, seeking anticipatory bail in connection with the alleged FiberNet scam. A bench consisting of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi has decided to take up the matter on November 30, after the Diwali break, when it is likely to deliver its verdict on a similar plea filed by Naidu seeking the quashing of criminal proceedings in an alleged skill development case.

In the FiberNet case, the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) had earlier assured the Supreme Court that it would refrain from arresting Naidu until the next scheduled hearing. This assurance will remain in effect until the forthcoming court date.

The Supreme Court’s decision to adjourn the hearing on Naidu’s plea comes after an earlier hearing held on October 20, which had postponed proceedings to November 9. The special leave petition filed with the Supreme Court challenges a decision by the Andhra Pradesh High Court that had denied anticipatory bail to the prominent political leader.

This legal battle is the latest development in a series of cases against Chandrababu Naidu. In October, the Supreme Court reserved its judgment on another plea by Naidu, which sought the quashing of an FIR in connection with the Skill Development scam case. The court, at that time, had refused to grant him interim bail.

However, on October 31, a bench led by Justice T. Mallikarjuna Rao of the Andhra Pradesh High Court granted Naidu interim bail until November 28, primarily for medical treatment, including cataract surgery.

Chandrababu Naidu is facing allegations of playing a “key role” in the AP FiberNet scam, which allegedly transpired during his tenure as Chief Minister in the state. The CID has accused him of exerting pressure on officials to favor a specific company that had been awarded the FiberNet contract.

Naidu’s legal battles continue to be closely watched by the political landscape of Andhra Pradesh and the nation at large. As the Supreme Court adjourns the hearing to November 30, the anticipation surrounding the outcome of these cases remains palpable.

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