Andhra Pradesh News: Chandrababu Naidu sent to 14-day judicial custody in alleged multi-crore corruption case
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief Chandrababu Naidu was sent to 14 days judicial custody till 23 September in connection to the multi-crore corruption case.
Soon after the court came out with the order, the Telugu Desam Party called for a state-wide bandh on Monday in protest against the arrest of its leader.
Chandrababu Naidu was presented in the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court on Sunday, which pronounced the verdict in the Skill Development Corporation Scam, after several hours of arguments and mulling.
Naidu, who was arrested in the early hours of Saturday, was produced in the ACB Court in Vijayawada on Sunday morning around 6 am. The judge ordered the remand of Naidu for 14 days to judicial custody and suggested to take the former CM to Rajahmundry central jail.
Naidu was arrested in a pre-dawn operation on Saturday at Nandyala for his alleged role in the multi-crore Skill Development Corporation scam. Officers knocked on the door of his caravan in which he was sleeping and picked him up.
The former CM was arrested by the CID around 6 am on Saturday from a marriage hall (outside which his caravan was parked) at Gnanapuram in Nandyala.
The CID chief N Sanjay had said Naidu was the principal conspirator in the case. The investigative agency also alleged that Chandrababu Naidu and Telugu Desam Party were the “end beneficiaries” of the misappropriated funds.
According to officials, the case pertains to the establishment of clusters of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in the state of Andhra Pradesh, with a total estimated project value of ₹300 crore. The agency officials also claimed that the alleged fraud has caused a huge loss to the state government in excess of ₹300 crores.
As per CID, the investigation has revealed irregularities such as before any expenditure by private entities, the then state government provided an advance of ₹371 crores, representing the entire 10% commitment by the government.
Most of the money advanced by the government was diverted to shell companies through fake invoices, with no actual delivery or sale of the items mentioned in the invoices, CID officials said.
In its remand report, the CID has said that according to the investigation so far, the total amount spent by private entities on six skill development clusters is sourced exclusively from funds advanced by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and AP Skill Development Center, totalling ₹371 crores.
The Crime Investigation Department which arrested TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu in the skill development corporation scam case named the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister as Accused 37 (A37) in the case.
According to the remand report submitted to the court, the CID said Naidu was non-cooperative during interrogation and replied vaguely saying that he did not remember certain issues.
(With agency inputs)
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Updated: 10 Sep 2023, 10:17 PM IST
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