Andhra Pradesh Business Employment Legal Legislature

AP CID’s lunch motion petition on skill development scam scheduled for Tuesday

Amaravati (AP): Following a setback to the Andhra Pradesh Police CID in the form of AP Skill Development Corporation scam accused G V S Bhaskar being released by the ACB Court, its lunch motion petition in the High Court is scheduled to be heard again on Tuesday, an official said on Saturday.

While rejecting Bhaskar’s remand and giving him liberty for now, the ACB Court in Vijayawada noted that the prosecution had applied penal sections wrongly, leading to the CID releasing him on Friday, said the official.

The CID booked him under IPC 409, a section invoked for misappropriation of money, which can carry a punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment. In light of this development, the CID moved a lunch motion petition in the High Court on Friday, which was admitted, resulting in arguments extending till 4:30 pm on the same day.

Later, the Court issued a notice to the accused (Bhaskar) and posted the hearing for Tuesday. The CID argued that it needs to carry out custodial interrogation of the accused. Bhaskar, a former employee of Siemens Industrial Software, was arrested from Noida and brought to the state for his alleged role in the skill development programme scam between 2014 and 2019, during the erstwhile Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government.

“He (Bhaskar) prepared a fake DPR (detailed project report) with overvaluation, keeping a margin of more than Rs 200 crore out of Rs 371 crore (released by the state government),” the official said.

According to officials, Bhaskar inflated the valuation of the project, which involved Siemens Industrial Software India and Design Tech Systems, to Rs 3,300 crore. However, the cost of Siemens Industrial Software India’s software was only Rs 58 crore. As part of the agreement, Siemens Industrial Software India and Design Tech Systems were to contribute 90 per cent of the funds for the programme with the balance 10 per cent coming from the state government. However, neither company spent a single penny while the state government’s share of 10 per cent — amounting to Rs 371 crore — was allegedly misappropriated, the CID stated.

CID officials claimed that the misappropriated money was funnelled into shell companies such as Allied Computers (Rs 60 crore), Skillers India, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners and ETA Greens. As many as 13 people were arrested by the CID in this case, who were in remand for varying periods, minimum of 45 days and maximum 60, said the official.

Suman Bose, the then MD of Siemens Industrial Software India, and Design Tech System MD Vikas Kanwilkar allegedly met the then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu for the project in 2014-15.

When the CID contacted the German headquarters of Siemens, it clarified that Bose had acted on his own volition, which resulted in his services being terminated, the official said.

The Enforcement Directorate has also launched a probe into the alleged scam and has issued notices to 26 people.