CID Demands Ex-Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu’s Custody In FiberNet Scam Case

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh Police has filed a Prisoner Transit (PT) warrant petition against N. Chandrababu Naidu, President of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and former Chief Minister, in connection with the FiberNet scam, while he remains in judicial custody over the skill development scam case. On Tuesday, the CID submitted the petition to the Vijayawada Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Court, requesting custody of Naidu for questioning regarding the FiberNet case, marking the third graft-related case against the prominent political figure, news agency IANS reported.

Earlier this month, on September 11, the investigating agency had lodged a PT warrant petition against Naidu in the Amaravati Inner Ring Road case, two days after his arrest and subsequent placement in judicial custody due to his alleged involvement in a multi-crore rupee skill development scam case.

In his bid to counter these charges, Naidu has filed a petition with the High Court, seeking to nullify the FIR (First Information Report) and his ongoing judicial remand in the skill development case. The High Court, after a hearing on Tuesday, has reserved its judgment on the matter, as per IANS.

Moreover, the High Court has deferred the hearing on Naidu’s plea for anticipatory bail in the Inner Ring Road case to September 21.

According to the CID, all three of these alleged scams transpired during Naidu’s tenure as Chief Minister between 2014 and 2019.

In the latest case, the CID has accused Naidu of irregularities related to the AP FiberNet Project’s first phase, valued at Rs. 321 crore. The agency contends that the work order for this project was improperly awarded to Terasoftware, circumventing regulations and manipulating the tendering process, IANS reported. The FiberNet Project aimed to provide optical fiber connectivity to villages and towns across the state.

The CID further alleges that numerous irregularities occurred in the AP State FiberNet Ltd (APSFL) from the tender allotment stage to the project’s completion, leading to substantial losses for the government. Consequently, the CID has registered FIRs against several individuals, including former eGovernance Authority member S. Vemuri Hari Krishna Prasad, Infrastructure Corporation of Andhra (INCAP) CMD K. Sambasiva Rao, Terasoftware MD Tummala Gopichand, and Himachal Futuristic Company, an IANS report stated.

In light of the CID’s PT warrant petition, it is anticipated that Naidu may approach the High Court seeking anticipatory bail in connection with the FiberNet case.

The opposition party claims that these cases were politically motivated, accusing the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government of targeting Naidu with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections.

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