In a setback to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Maharashtraâ€™s Dharmabad Court has refused to recall its non-bailable arrest warrant which was ordered against him earlier this month. The court has asked the Andhra CM to appear before it on October 15, the date of the next hearing.
Earlier this month, NR Gajbhiye, the first class judicial magistrate of Dharmabad in Nanded district of Maharashtra, had issued a non-bailable warrant against the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and 15 others in a case that was filed in connection with the agitation against the Babli barrage irrigation project in 2010.
During the last hearing, the court had asked the police to produce all accused before it on September 21. Since the Andhra CM was scheduled to attend an event in New York, USA on September 22, his counsel appeared in court on his behalf on Friday to file a petition in Dharmabad court to recall the Non-Bailable Arrest Warrant (NBW).
In 2010, the then Opposition leader of United Andhra, Chandrababu Naidu had led protests against the alleged â€śillegal constructions" of the Babli Barrage project by the Maharashtra government. At that time, he was taken into custody along with 76 Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislators for violating prohibitory orders in Nanded. However, they were later released following the arrest.
They have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, act endangering life or personal safety of others), (criminal intimidation), among others.
When Naidu's counsel sought for the CM to be exempted from personally appearing before the court, it reportedly said that there cannot be different yardsticks for people based on an accusedâ€™s position.
Earlier, the TDP had called the non-bailable warrant against Chandrababu Naidu a "conspiracy" and "vendetta" by BJP after the TDPâ€™s exit from NDA.
Meanwhile, the court has granted bail to former TDP leaders and ex-MLAs G Kamalakar, Prakash Goud and Ratnam while imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 on them.