Bombay High Court refuses to dismiss 2010 case on Chandrababu over assault of Dhramabad prison staff

Naidu and others were accused of assaulting prison staff during transfer to Aurangabad Jail.

Bombay High Court refuses to dismiss 2010 case on Chandrababu over assault of Dhramabad prison staff

AURANGABAD: Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and TDP leader Nakka Ananda Babu faced a setback as the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court refused to dismiss a criminal case against them.

Naidu and Babu were accused of attacking prison staff while being transferred to Aurangabad Central Jail in 2010 after being arrested in a separate case.

Justices Mangesh Patil and Shailesh P Brahme of the division bench concluded that substantial evidence pointed to the involvement of both Naidu and Babu in the alleged wrongdoing. "The evidence at hand strongly suggests the complicity of both applicants in committing the crime. The allegations, supported by witness statements and medical reports of injured personnel, painted a clear picture of their involvement," remarked the court.

The court dismissed the duo's plea to quash the FIR filed against them by the Dharmabad police in Maharashtra's Nanded district.

Naidu and Babu faced charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including assaulting public servants, causing harm with dangerous weapons, and intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace.

In July 2010, the Dharmabad police arrested Naidu, Babu, and some others. They were initially held in a temporary facility, but then they were ordered to be moved to Aurangabad Central Prison. Naidu and Babu resisted the move, which led to conflicts and threats of interstate conflict. They were accused of encouraging other detainees and attacking law enforcement officers, which led to the deployment of extra personnel for their transfer.

The lawyers for Naidu and Babu argued that because some of the accused's actions could be considered both prison and IPC offences, only the Prison Superintendent had the authority to prosecute them, as per the Prisons Act of 1894.

However, the court stressed that the charges were solely related to IPC offences, meaning that the case did not fall under the scope of the Prisons Act. Since the FIR and charge sheet did not specifically mention any prison offences, the court concluded that the case should be dealt with under the IPC.

While the court acknowledged the prompt filing of the FIR and the strong evidence presented, it rejected the idea that the Prisons Act prevented the registration of IPC offences or the jurisdiction of a Magistrate over such matters.

Based on these findings, the court refused the request to dismiss the case but provided temporary relief to the accused until July 8, 2024.

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