4-Week Bail To Chandrababu On Health Grounds In Skill Development Case

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted interim bail on health grounds to former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu for four weeks in connection with the Skill Development Case.

The counsel representing Naidu informed the court that the former chief minister has to undergo cataract surgery. The court also posted his regular bail plea to November 10, according to PTI.

The bench directed that the TDP chief furnish a bail bond for ₹1 lakh with two sureties. “He shall get himself examined and treated at a hospital of his choice at his expense,” the court said in its order.

Telugu Desam Party spokesperson K Pattabhi Ram told that Naidu will be released today.

“We all know that the health of Chandrababu Naidu has been deteriorating over the past few days, and the doctors also have advised immediate eye surgery and immediate hospitalization…” Ram said.

What Happened Before…

TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu was arrested on September 9 in connection with the alleged ₹3,300 crore Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) scam which reportedly took place during his stint as the Andhra chief minister.

On that day, the police arrived at Naidu’s home at around 3 am. They could not arrest him as his party workers gathered in large numbers and protested the move. He was taken into custody after around three hours.

In March this year, the Andhra Pradesh Police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) had initiated a probe into the case. The investigation followed notices to former Indian Railway Traffic Service officer Arja Srikanth, who was the chief executive officer (CEO) of the APSSDC in 2016, based on the statements by an accused turned approver and depositions by three IAS officers.

The APSSDC was set up in 2016 to empower unemployed youth and provide skill training to enhance their employability.

According to the CID probe, the then Chandrababu Naidu government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the project worth ₹3,300 crore. The MoU involved a consortium with Siemens Industry Software India Ltd and Design Tech Systems Pvt Ltd.

Siemens Industry Software India Ltd was to establish six centers of excellence for skill development. The Andhra government was supposed to contribute around 10 percent of the total project cost. The two companies would provide the remaining funds as grant-in-aid.

As per an investigation by CID, the project was initiated without following the standard tendering process. The state cabinet allegedly did not approve the project.

The CID probe pointed to Siemens Industry Software India allegedly failing to invest any of its own resources in the project and diverted a substantial portion of the ₹371 crore allocated by the state to various shell companies. The CID alleged the funds meant for the project were funnelled into shell companies.

Following the heat, Siemens Global Corporate Office initiated an internal inquiry into the project and discovered that the project manager had misappropriated the government-allocated funds to shell companies as hawala transactions.


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