HomePoliticsFormer Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu Faces Charges in ₹279 Crore...

Former Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu Faces Charges in ₹279 Crore Skill Development Scam

In the recent Skill Development scam, special court in Vijayawada, presiding over cases investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Andhra Pradesh, has implicated former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in a high-stakes skill development program scam. This revelation came to light on Sunday as the court made several damning observations regarding the case.

Prima Facie Case Established

Special judge BSV Himabindu, meticulously reviewing the evidence before her, has unequivocally established a prima facie case against Naidu. The charges include cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery, and corruption, all falling under the purview of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court’s verdict asserts that during his tenure as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Naidu was seemingly embroiled in a criminal conspiracy. It is alleged that he colluded with others to orchestrate the misappropriation of government funds amounting to ₹279 crore.

According to the court order, “The above material in the remand report, statement of witnesses, material collected in the CD File and accused alteration memo on record, prima facie shows that Accused no.37 in pursuance of criminal conspiracy, while holding his office as a public servant colluded with other accused committed misappropriation of government funds to the tune of Rs.279 crores by corrupt and illegal methods, causing a huge loss to the Government Exchequer.”

Nexus Established

Additionally, the court highlighted the prima facie material linking Naidu to other accused individuals and his role in approving the ill-fated skill development project and its associated activities.

Consequently, Naidu has been remanded to 14 days of judicial custody. However, due to concerns about his security, given his Z plus security status under the National Security Guard (NSG), the court decided to place him in the Central Prison, Rajamahendravaram, a facility equipped to handle high-profile detainees.

The Skill Development Scam

The case revolves around a scheme that allegedly diverted government funds intended for a skill development project into various shell companies through fraudulent invoices that did not correspond to any delivered services.

Initially, the project received substantial funding from technology partners, but it was purportedly transformed into a government-funded venture through a tripartite agreement that allegedly violated government orders. This irregularity resulted in the release of ₹371 crore by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Subsequently, it is alleged that officials from Siemens Industry Software (India) Private Limited and DesignTech System Private Limited, the project’s key players, misappropriated at least ₹241 crore of the ₹371 crore allocated for the scheme.

This unfolding scandal has sent shockwaves through the political landscape of Andhra Pradesh, with Naidu now facing legal scrutiny and a judicial process that could have profound implications for his political future.

Stay tuned for further updates as this case unfolds.

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