Skill scam: AP High Court grants four-week conditional interim bail to Chandrababu Naidu

Naidu was arrested on September 9 from the RK function hall in Nandyal. He was jailed in Rajamahendravaram Central Prison since then in a special barrack

Skill scam: AP High Court grants four-week conditional interim bail to Chandrababu Naidu

AMARAVATI: Considering the health condition of skill scam accused former Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted him interim bail for four weeks in the skill development scam case.

However, the Court did not mention the conditions on which the bail was granted. Naidu was arrested on September 9 from the RK function hall in Nandyal. He was jailed in Rajamahendravaram Central Prison since then in a special barrack.

However, a known person suffering psoriasis he developed serious skin condition inside the jail following which his family demanded that he be released to seek better treatment outside the jail.

The accused must surrender before the court on November 24, and the hearing on the main bail petition will take place on November 10. The judge made it clear that the accused out on bail must not participate in any event other than attending a hospital for treatment. He must not speak over a phone, should not address the media and should not participate in any political activity.


1. I.A. No. 01 of 2023 and I.A. No. 03 of 2023 have been filed

under Sections 437 and 439 r/w. Section 482 of the Criminal

Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.). These applications pertain to Crime

No. 29 of 2021 of C.I.D., Police Station, A.P., Amaravati. The

petitioner has filed these applications, in conjunction with the

main Criminal Petition No. 7951 of 2023, seeking interim bail to

facilitate the undertaking of necessary medical tests and

treatment under the supervision of his personal physician.

2. The case of the petitioner, is that, a case was registered

against him vide Crime No.29 of 2021 under Sections 166, 167,

418, 420, 465, 468, 471, 409, 201, 109 r/w. Section 120-B of

Indian Penal Code, 1860 (for short, “I.P.C.”) and sections

13(1)(c) and (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (for

short, “P.C. Act”) by C.I.D. Police Station, Mangalagiri. He was

detained on 08.09.2023 at 11 P.M. and was arrested on

09.09.2023 at 6 A.M. for the aforesaid crime. The petitioner is

an old person of 73 years of age, who, due to inadequate

medical supervision and lack of facilities in the Jail is facing

health complications on account of his continued incarceration.

Prior to his arrest, he was in continuous medical care of his

personal doctors, and he is not able to get medical management,

which he was getting since a long period. Due to which, the

health of the petitioner is deteriorating day by day and it could

become life threatening and beyond the realm of control by the

jail authorities.

(i) The petitioner has suffered from Erythematous Popular

Rash over his front chest, back palms and on intergluteal

region. The Medical Report dated 14.10.2023 submitted by

team of doctors after conducting medical examination of the

petitioner reveals that the petitioner is a known case of Diabetes

Mellitus from 15 years and is under continuous treatment and

also suggests that he is a known case of Hypertrophic

Obstructive Cardio Myopathy and was treated with cardiac

evaluation in December, 2022.

(ii) The medical report dated 17.10.2023 prepared by

Government doctors has advised to conduct following medical

tests of the petitioner; Complete Blood Picture, Renal Function

Test, Liver Function Tests, Serum Electrolytes, Coagulation

Profile, HbA1C, Complete Urine Examination, ECG, X-Ray,

Chest, 2d Echo. As such, the petitioner wishes to undertake the

above medical tests from the team of doctors of his own choice.

The above tests include the tests of vital organs like heart and

lungs. As such, the petitioner seeks for interim bail.

3. A counter filed by the Respondent/State, denying all the

allegations made in the petitions, contending that it is a settled

proposition of law that the Courts should look into the prima

facie case against the accused, the scope and gravity of the

alleged offence while granting bail/interim bail. As per the

conspiracy, the petitioner colluded with A.1, A.2, A.6, A.8 and

others; the Skill development project was specifically allotted on

a nomination basis with malafide intention of causing wrongful

gain to himself and others accused and caused wrongful loss to

the Government Exchequer. The gravity of the alleged offence,

prima-facie material being available against the petitioner, and

the need to examine the then Personal Secretary to the

petitioner/A.37, Mr Pendyala Srinivas, Mr Manoj Vasudev

Pardasany and Mr Kilaru Rajesh, a close associate of Nara

Lokesh and collection of Bank details about the petitioner. The

petitioner did not cooperate with the Jail authorities, persisting

with his stand of not undergoing any tests unless his family

Doctor was consulted. There was no response from Smt.

N. Bhuvaneswari for the two letters dated 16.10.2023 and

25.10.2023 about getting an opinion from their family doctor.

There is no truth in the averment that the delay in undertaking such a Cataract operation can have debilitating impacts on the

vision of the petitioner. A dedicated team of guarding staff are

monitoring the CCTV Surveillance System in the prison, and

they are constantly monitoring the petitioner's security.

4. Heard Sri Siddharth Luthra and Sri Dammalapati

Srinivas, learned Senior Counsel, appearing for the petitioner

and Sri Ponnavolu Sudhakar Reddy, learned Additional

Advocate General, for the Respondent-State.

5. Now, the question to be decided at this stage is:

“Whether the petitioner/A.37, who is in custody, is

entitled to interim bail on medical grounds?

6. The Learned Senior Counsel, for the petitioner, contends

that the petitioner is a 73-year-old individual who has been in

judicial custody since 10.09.2023. During his period of

incarceration, the petitioner has faced difficulties in accessing

necessary medical care, resulting in an Erthematous Popular

Rash affecting his chest, back, palms, and intergluteal region.

To substantiate this claim, reference is made to a medical report

dated 14.10.2023, which was provided by a team of Government


7. The learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner further

contends that it is not disputed that the petitioner has been

diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus for a period of 15 years and has been receiving consistent medical care for this condition.

Furthermore, the petitioner has a known case of Hypertrophic

Obstructive Cardiomyopathy, for which cardiac evaluation was

conducted in December 2022. A medical report dated

21.10.2023 recommends that the petitioner undergo a series of

tests, including assessments of vital organs such as the heart

and lungs.

8. Sri Ponnavolu Sudhakar Reddy, the learned Additional

Advocate General, contends that there is no justifiable reason

for granting interim bail as the petitioner's condition remains

stable. Additionally, he contends that the petitioner's medical

conditions are not severe, and he is receiving the necessary

medical care within the prison premises and that the

petitioner's weight has increased from 66 Kgs to 67.5 Kgs.

Therefore, it is requested that the interim bail application be


9. On the other hand, the learned Senior Counsel for the

petitioner argues that the petitioner underwent Cataract surgery

in June 2023. Due to an apparent disparity in the petitioner's

vision, it has been advised that he undergo Cataract surgery for

the right eye at the earliest, as any delay in this operation could

lead to a significant deterioration in his vision. To support this

claim, reference is made to a certificate issued by the LV Prasad Eye Institute, dated 21.10.2023. Wherein it is observed as


"The petitioner was reviewed on 25.03.2023. His

intraocular pressures were borderline, and he had a visually

significant cataract. He underwent Cataract extraction with

intraocular lens implantation in his left Eye on 21.06.2023,

under the cover of pressure-lowering medications. That Eye

recovered well in the next 3 weeks. However, there remained

a noticeable disparity in vision between his right and left

Eye, and hence was advised cataract surgery in the right Eye

within 3 months”.

10. Upon reviewing the mentioned certificate, it becomes

apparent that the petitioner is advised to undergo surgery within

three months from 21.06.2023, which differs from the

interpretation provided by the learned Additional Advocate

General, who cited 21.10.2023 as the relevant date for


11. Dr P. Naveen Chander Reddy, MD, Consultant Physician,

Medical Director, A.I.G. Hospitals, issued a Certificate dated

11.10.2023 about the health condition of the petitioner, which

is as follows:

"Mr Nara Chandra Babu Naidu, aged 73 years, has been our

patient for a long time. He has the following health ailments –

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Diabetes Mellitus and Skin disorder.

And on regular checkups and treatment with our team of doctors.

Given these cardiac and skin conditions, he's advised to keep

himself well hydrated and maintain a cold environment around him

since dehydration and a hot environment might precipitate cardiac

complications like arrhythmias or heart blocks. He might require a

checkup at our hospital if any of these ailments need to be addressed."

12. Dr B. Srinivasa Rao, Civil Surgeon Specialist, Government

Hospital, Rajamahendravaram, addressed a letter dated

25.10.2023 to the Jail Superintendent, Central Prison,

informing that on 25.10.2023 he examined the petitioner for an

eye checkup for a complaint of defective vision Right Eye and

stated as follows:

“On examination:

Left Eye – Pseudophakia

Right Eye – Immature Cataract with normal papillary reflexes.

Hence, the right Eye is also advised for IOL Surgery.”

13. On the same day, i.e. 25.10.2023, Dr. B. Srinivasa Rao,

addressed another letter to the Superintendent, clarifying that

the eye condition of the petitioner is not of a serious nature and

does not necessitate immediate surgery. Specifically it is

mentioned that the cataract in the right Eye is still in an

immature stage, and he can undergo IOL surgery at his

convenience. The two letters penned by the same Doctor to the

Superintendent of Central Prison, serve as a compelling

reminder to the Court as to what significance/importance has to be attached to the certificates issued by the Government


14. The learned Senior Counsel representing the petitioner

argues that the petitioner is more susceptible to the

complications due to weight loss and ongoing health issues. In

response, the learned Additional Advocate General has relied on

medical records to dispute the claim that the petitioner has

experienced weight loss. It is further asserted that the petitioner

has actually gained more than 1.5 Kg, totaling 67.5 Kg.

15. The team of doctors (1) Dr Markandeyulu, MD Gen.

Medicine (2) Dr Ch.V.V. Siva Kumar, MS Gen. Surgery (3) Dr

Ch. V. Suneetha Devi, MD D.V.L. (4) Dr B.V.V.N. Mahendra, MD

Anaesthesia and (5) Dr S. Himaja, MD Pathology submitted a

report dated 19.10.2023, 20.10.2023, 21.10.2023, 23.10.2023

and 26.10.2023, wherein the petitioner is advised the following


“Complete Blood Picture, Renal Function Tests, Liver

Function Tests, Serum Electrolytes, Coagulation profile,

HbA1C, Complete Urine Examination, E.C.G., X-Ray Chest,

2D Echo.

16. The Respondent-State has relied these reports to argue

that the petitioner has been managing his health reasonably

well and is not afflicted by any chronic ailment. In a letter dated

26.10.2023, addressed from the Superintendent of Central Prison, Rajamahendravaram to Sri M. Dhanunjayudu, the

Investigation Officer, wherein it was conveyed that the Medical

Team, in their medical report, had recommended specific

investigations for the remand prisoner. Additionally, he

informed the Investigation Officer that all these recommended

investigations could be carried out within the facilities of the

Jail Hospital.

17. The learned Additional Advocate General placed on record

a G.O.Rt.No.683, dated 22.07.2022, wherein it is described as


"2. The Director General of Prisons and Correctional

Services, Andhra Pradesh, Mangalagiri, has given the details

of the issue and has framed certain guidelines for approval of

the Government and proposed to constitute a Committee for

each District with Chairman and 3 Members to study the

case of the Prisoner in-depth and decide whether the case is

genuine and the Prisoner is suffering from a life-threatening

disease and he requires treatment in a Network Hospital or

not and has requested the Government for issue of necessary


18. Based on the available material, it is evident that the

petitioner was recommended to undergo Cataract surgery for

the right eye within three months from 21.06.2023. This Court

views that it would be unreasonable for a prudent individual to

seek Cataract surgery solely for the purpose of obtaining bail. If

that is so, the petitioner need not have waited till 25.10.2023 to come up with this petition. Considering the petitioner's age, this

Court finds that it is quite probable to suffer from such old age

ailments. There is no material casting doubt on the authenticity

of the certificates relied on by the petitioner. In the second

report also, Dr. B. Srinivasa Rao did not state that the petitioner

need not require surgery. Consequently, this Court does not

find it necessary to compel the petitioner to appear before a

Medical Board, as suggested by the learned Additional Advocate


19. The learned Additional Advocate General placed reliance

on a decision reported in State of U.P. vs. Gayatri Prasad


. After going through the decision, this Court finds

that it cannot be made applicable to the facts of this case, as in

the said case the High Court has not referred and considered

the reports of the S.G.P.G.I.M.S., i.e. Super Specialty Hospital,

which was on the record as well as the report of the medical


20. Learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner placed reliance

on a decision of Hon’ble Apex Court in Satyendar Kumar Jain

vs. Directorate of Enforcement2

, wherein it is observed that:

“2. The Additional Solicitor General representing the

Enforcement Directorate opposed such prayer and pressed for independent medical examination before the All India

Institute of Medical Sciences [A.I.I.M.S.].

3. After hearing learned counsel for the parties, there is no

reason to disbelieve the Report of G.B. Pant Institute of Post

Graduate Medical Education and Research. It is appropriate

that the citizen has a right to take treatment of his choice, at

his expense, in a private hospital.

21. Evidently, the petitioner herein preferred a Special Leave

Petition, seeking to quash the F.I.R. No.29 of 2021 registered by

C.I.D. P.S., A.P. Amaravathi, Mangalagiri, dated 09.12.2021, on

the ground that the same has been initiated without obtaining

sanction as mandated by Section 17-A of the Prevention of

Corruption Act. The learned Additional Advocate General argues

that in the Special Leave Petition, the petitioner had also

requested ex-parte ad-interim bail. So, the petitioner should

have refrained from seeking the same relief before this Court.

22. The learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner brought to

the notice of this Court the averments made in the interim bail

application, which reads as follows:

"The petitioner challenged the Order dated 22.09.2023

before Hon'ble Supreme Court vide S.L.P. (C.R.L.)

No:12289/2023. On 17.10.2023, the arguments of all the

parties were concluded and the judgment was reserved by

Hon'ble Supreme Court. That the petitioner has sought interim

relief in such petition also, however, the same has been

reserved for final orders now and in fact on the submissions

made across the bar in the Supreme Court, all the issues in relation to regular and interim bail (sans 17A P.C. Act), were

left to be agitated before this Hon'ble Court".

23. Taking into account the arguments put forth on behalf of

the petitioner, this Court finds that the petitioner's pursuit of a

Special Leave Petition to challenge the F.I.R. does not preclude

him from seeking bail from either the Special Court or the High

Court. It is nobody’s case that an application has been moved

on behalf of the petitioner seeking interim bail on the health

grounds and has been pending for consideration before the

Hon’ble Apex Court. This Court does not find merit in the

argument put forth by the learned Additional Advocate General,

which suggests that the petitioner's bail application should not

be considered until the quash petition is adjudicated.

24. At this stage, it is profitable to refer to the observations

made in the decision of Hon’ble Apex Court in Pt. Parmanand

Katara vs. Union of India3

, wherein the Hon’ble Apex Court

has also emphasized the preservation of life both of an innocent

person or a criminal liable to punishment, in the following


"…..7. There can be no second opinion that preservation

of human life is of paramount importance. That is so on

account of the fact that once life is lost, the status quo ante

cannot be restored as resurrection is beyond the capacity of

man. The patient whether he be an innocent person or be a criminal liable to punishment under the laws of the society, it

is the obligation of those who are in charge of the health of the

community to preserve life so that the innocent may be

protected and the guilty may be punished. Social laws do not

contemplate death by negligence to tantamount to legal


25. This Court places the health and well-being of an

individual as the foremost consideration, irrespective of the

gravity of the alleged offense. It's important to recognize that

custody during the investigative phase should not be perceived

as punitive. Every individual has the inherent right to receive

comprehensive and effective medical care. This Court firmly

upholds the belief that individuals in custody with serious

health issues should be granted access to adequate and

effective medical treatment. The exercise of discretion in

granting interim bail on medical grounds should not be

restricted to circumstances where the person's life is in

immediate peril. Moreover, there is no conflicting medical report

indicating that the petitioner's surgery is unnecessary. The

undisputed fact remains that the petitioner is suffering from

specific ailments that demand medical attention, particularly

regarding his right eye.

26. This Court is of the opinion that there is no remote

possibility that the petitioner would evade the judicial process

or pose a flight risk. It has been submitted that the petitioner has strong ties within society and is a respected figure, having

previously served as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and

currently holding the position of Opposition Leader and sitting

Member of the Legislative Assembly.

27. Furthermore, it is this Court's steadfast belief that a

patient in need of medical attention should be granted

immediate, effective, and comprehensive treatment.

Additionally, the choice of the medical facility for treatment

should remain with the patient.

28. Considering the painful and pressing nature of the

petitioner's reported health conditions, and without delving into

the merits of the case, this Court is inclined to grant interim

bail solely for the purpose of allowing the petitioner to undergo

the necessary medical examination. The medical report clearly

indicates that the petitioner requires cataract surgery on his

right eye. Therefore, it is a reasonable proposition to permit him

to seek treatment at the same hospital where he had the

surgery for his left eye.

29. With a humanitarian perspective in mind and considering

the petitioner's health condition, this Court is inclined to grant

temporary bail on health grounds to the petitioner/A.37,

enabling him to undergo the required surgery on his right eye.

30. In the facts and circumstances of the case, both petitions

are allowed; the petitioner/A.37 is entitled to interim bail on

medical grounds for Four (4) weeks from today, on the following


1) The petitioner shall furnish a bail bond for Rs.1,00,000/-

(Rupees one lakh only) with two sureties of the like

amount to the satisfaction of the Trial Court;

2) The petitioner shall get himself examined/treated at a

hospital of his choice at his expenses.

3) The petitioner shall provide the details about the

treatment given to him and the hospital where he got

treated, in a sealed cover, to the Superintendent, Central

Prison, Rajamahendravaram, at the time of his surrender,

who in turn, shall forward the sealed cover intact to the

trial Court.

4) The petitioner shall not directly or indirectly make any

inducement, threat, or promise to any person acquainted

with the facts of the case to dissuade him from disclosing

such facts to the Court or any other authority.

5) The petitioner shall surrender himself before the

Superintendent, Central Prison, Rajamahendravaram, on

or before 28.11.2023 at 5 P.M.

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