Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was on Sunday sent to judicial custody for 14 days in connection with an alleged multi-crore scam in the state’s Skill Development Corporation during his tenure.
The development came a day after the Telugu Desam Party leader was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department. The police claimed to have prima facie evidence of his involvement in the siphoning off approximately Rs 371 crore belonging to the corporation through fictitious companies.
On Sunday morning, Naidu told a Vijayawada Anti-Corruption Bureau court that he has been “falsely implicated for political gains”.
He was questioned for nearly 10 hours at the Special Investigation Team office before being produced before the court. Seeking his judicial custody, the Crime Investigation Department claimed that Naidu and the Telugu Desam Party were the “end beneficiaries” of the allegedly misappropriated funds.
Naidu is the chief architect and conspirator in the case, the remand report alleged, reported The Indian Express.
The investigating agency also told the court that Naidu did not cooperate during questioning and gave vague answers.
But Naidu’s legal counsel claimed that there was no “well-founded accusation” against the politician and urged the court to reject the remand report.
Supreme Court lawyer Siddharth Luthra, representing Naidu, said that no role has been attributed to the former chief minister in the official complaint and the police’s remand report.
The first information report registered on December 9, 2021, also does not name Naidu, he added.
Besides sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Naidu has been charged under the sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with the offences of criminal conspiracy, public servant disobeying law, public servant framing an incorrect document, cheating, forgery, causing disappearance of evidence and offering bribe to a public servant.