Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief N Chandrababu Naidu was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Investigation Department (CID) from Nandyal district on Saturday morning, 9 September, in connection with an alleged corruption case.
The Big Details: CID, in a statement said that Naidu has been arrested in connection with the alleged fraud in Skill Development Corporation involving approximately Rs 550 crores.
"This case revolves around the establishment of clusters of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in the state of Andhra Pradesh, with a total estimated project value of Rs 3300 Crores. The alleged fraud has caused huge loss to the Government of Andhra Pradesh in excess of Rs 300 crores," the CID said.
The police also tried to arrets Naidu in the early hours of Saturday but was restrained by a group of TDP workers who resisted the late night arrest.
The party has also alleged that former CM was not informed by the police about the reason behind his arrest.
What Was Said: "For the past 45 years, I have selflessly served Telugu people. I am prepared to sacrifice my life to safeguard the interests of Telugu people. No force on earth can stop me from serving Telugu people, my Andhra Pradesh and my motherland," Naidu posted on X.
“I did not commit any malpractice or corruption. CID arrested me without any proper information and I asked them to show the evidence but they refused to show and attached my name to the FIR without my role,” Naidu said before he was taken into custody, as quoted by news agency ANI.
What Are the Charges?
Naidu has been charged under various section of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The sections include:
120B: Criminal conspiracy
166: Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person
167: Public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury
418: Cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to person whose interest offender is bound to protect
420: Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property
468: Forgery for purpose of cheating
471: Using as genuine a forged 1[document or electronic record]
409: Criminal breach of trust by public servant
201: Causing disappearance of evidence of an offence committed
The CID version: In a statement released after Naidu arrest, CID claimed:
Before any expenditure by private entities, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) provided an advance of Rs 371 Crores, representing the entire 10 percent 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.
A portion of the funds was used to create the CoE clusters, a departure from the official procedure, while the rest was routed through shell companies.
The investigation implicates prime accused Sri Nara Chandra Babu Naidu, along with the Telugu Desam Party, as beneficiaries of the misappropriated funds.
Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu is considered the principal conspirator behind the scheme, orchestrating the transfer of public funds to private entities via shell companies, resulting in a loss to the public exchequer and private gains.
Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu possesses exclusive knowledge of the transactions leading to the issuance of government orders and memoranda of understanding, making him a central figure in the investigation.
The ultimate use of the misappropriated funds, including cash holdings with individuals like Vikas Khanvilkar, requires further examination.
Key documents related to the case have gone missing, Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu and other individuals being primary suspects.
The investigation is focusing on locating the misappropriated funds, making custodial interrogation of Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu necessary.
The material including statements of public officials recorded U/s 164 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) clearly points to the involvement of Chandra babu Naidu as the principal decision maker to release the money in advance.
The charges in this case carry penalties of more than 10 years of imprisonment, and given the deep-rooted conspiracy, custodial interrogation is deemed necessary to uncover all aspects of the financial fraud.
Party cadres and supported have come out to protest against Naidu's arrest in some parts of the state.