Home NEWS Former CM N Chandrababu Naidu remanded to 14 days judicial custody

Former CM N Chandrababu Naidu remanded to 14 days judicial custody

Chandrababu Naidu



Chandrababu Naidu

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday was remanded to 14 days of judicial custody following his arrest on Saturday in connection with the Andhra Pradesh skill development program scam case

The investigation against Naidu centers around a scheme that purportedly diverted government funds intended for a skill development project into various shell companies through fraudulent invoices, which did not correspond with the delivery of services.

A special court at Vijayawada hearing cases probed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) passed the remand order after considering rival contentions by the State Crime Investigation Department (CID) and Chandrababu Naidu.

Naidu, in a plea challenging the CID’s remand report against him, had asserted before the Vijayawada court that he had been falsely implicated in the case.

He also claimed that there was a clear statutory violation of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Section 17A deals with the need for prior sanction to enquire into the actions of public servants done in the discharge of their official duties.

Naidu’s petition contended that in his case, since he was Chief Minster, the Governor of the State would be the sanctioning authority.

While so, Naidu claimed that his prosecution in the corruption case was not proper as the prosecution did not obtain prior sanction from the Governor of Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu also highlighted that the alleged offenses were related to policy decisions that had been approved by the State Cabinet. Therefore, these decisions could not be questioned through criminal proceedings, Naidu contended.

The plea further emphasized that the former Andhra Pradesh government had allocated ₹360 crores in favor of the Department of Skill Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which had been integrated into the State budget for the fiscal year 2015-16. Since this allocation was part of the approved budget, the plea asserted that it should not be subjected to scrutiny through criminal proceedings.

The former Chief Minister also stated that, according to the remand report, no role was attributed to him in siphoning funds, and there was no allegation against him in the first information report (FIR) registered in the matter on December 9, 2021.

The CID, on the other hand, highlighted that what had initially began as a project primarily funded by technology partners was unlawfully transformed into a government-funded venture through a tripartite agreement.

This agreement was allegedly executed in violation of government orders, resulting in the release of ₹371 Crores by the government of Andhra Pradesh.

Subsequently, the CID alleged that these funds were misappropriated by officials of Siemens Industry Software (India) Private Limited and DesignTech System Private Limited, who failed to fulfill their obligations.

At least ₹241 crores out of the allocated ₹371 Crores were misappropriate, the investigating agency added.

Though Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra appearing for Naidu insisted on his house arrest considering his Z+ security and life threats, the court is expected to take up the house arrest application on Monday and declined to pass any orders today.

Naidu will be lodged meanwhile at the Rajahmundry Central Prison with facilities such as home cooked meal, separate room and security.

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