Thursday, December 7, 2023

SC to continue hearing in ‘Skill’ case today

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PNS | Vijayawada

The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned to tomorrow the hearing on TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu’s plea to quash the FIR in the skill development scam case. The Opposition leader filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the top court challenging an order passed by the AP High Court declining to quash an FIR in the skill development scam case.
A bench comprising Justices Anirudhha Bose and Bela M Trivedi heard the arguments on the applicability of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act in the case. Senior Advocate Harish Salve, who is representing Naidu in the court, argued that the Section 17A is added to curb instances of ‘regime revenge’ in 2018.

Arguing that Section 17A applies retrospectively, Salve said the investigation against the TDP leader started only in 2021 and therefore the amendment would be applicable in the case.

Referring to the previous arguments of Andhra Pradesh government counsel Mukul Rohatgi, Justice Bela M Trivedi said the investigation in the skill development scam case began prior to July 2018 when Section 17 A became applicable, so no sanction was required. However, Salve rejected the Senior Advocate’s argument as incorrect.

Last week, the apex court said it would confine itself with regard to the applicability of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act. As per the section, investigation officers need to obtain prior approval of competent authority before initiating any inquiry, inquiry, or investigation into the decisions taken by a public servant in the discharge of his official duties.

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