AP CID Seeks Production Warrant for Naidu in Rs 114 Crores AP Fibrenet Scam Case:
Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the leader of the Telugu Desam Party, is confronted with fresh challenges as the AP-CID submits a request for a prisoner transit warrant in the ACB court. The warrant is sought to facilitate his custody for interrogation in relation to the AP Fibrenet Phase-I project scam, which resulted in a loss of Rs 114 crore to the state treasury.
The AP-CID has accused the primary suspect, Naidu, and his associates of funneling “the embezzled funds” through a network of companies owned by their associates, employing counterfeit invoices. In a memo submitted to the court on Tuesday, the AP-CID included Naidu as Accused 25 in the case, in addition to filing the petition for a PT warrant. Currently, Naidu is in judicial remand at the central prison in Rajahmundry due to his involvement in the AP Skill Development Scam, which amounts to Rs 371 crore.
According to the CID memorandum, Naidu should be considered the primary accused because he served as the chief minister and held the position of the energy, infrastructure, and investment department when the scam occurred.
The AP-CID highlighted that Naidu personally endorsed the execution of the AP Fibernet project through the energy, infrastructure, and investment department, rather than the IT department. Additionally, he played a direct role in the appointment of Vemuri Harikrishna as a member of the governing council-governance authority, despite Harikrishna having a criminal background.
Furthermore, Naidu approved the project estimates for the Fibrenet project without taking into account that no market survey had been conducted regarding the procurement of items or the standards to be followed.
Furthermore, Naidu exerted pressure on senior government officials to include Vemuri Harikrishna Prasad in various tender evaluation committees. He also pushed for the revocation of the government’s blacklisting of M/s Terasoftware, which was in effect at the time. Naidu actively advocated for awarding the tender to M/s Terasoftware, effectively silencing protests from other bidders such as M/s Pace Power. Additionally, he orchestrated the transfer of officers who were seeking a fair tender process and replaced them with more compliant officials.
The other individuals implicated in the scam include Vemuri Harikrishna Prasad, who served as the managing director of NET India and was a member of the governing council of the e-Governance authority. Koganti Sambasiva Rao, formerly the Vice-Chancellor and Managing Director of INCAP and the Managing Director of APSFL, currently holds the position of Chief Commercial Manager at SCR, among others.
Regarding the extent of financial loss and the misuse of government funds, the AP-CID uncovered evidence of manipulation in the tender process. This manipulation resulted in the allocation of the work order for phase-I of the AP Fibernet project, valued at Rs 330 crore, to a favored company. This was achieved by disregarding established norms and manipulating the tender process.
Furthermore, a series of irregularities occurred from the initial tender allocation to the completion of the entire project, leading to significant financial losses for the state treasury, as outlined in the CID memorandum.
It was observed that the project suffered due to the use of substandard materials, violations of specified conditions, and a failure to adhere to the specifications outlined in the Request for Proposal (RFP). These deviations resulted in approximately 80 percent of the Optic Fiber Cable’s capacity becoming unusable. Consequently, this deviation caused a financial loss of about Rs 114 crore, in addition to further losses incurred due to costly operation and maintenance work, as well as revenue loss stemming from the use of unsafe optic fiber.