Andhra Pradesh Business Educational International Legal Legislature

APHC dismisses bail plea of accused in AP State Skill Development Corporation scam

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court has dismissed the bail petition filed by Delhi-based Chartered Accountant Vipin Sharma, who is an accused in the AP State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) scam being probed by the Crime Investigation Department (CID).

The court said the grant of anticipatory bail when the case is still under investigation would weaken the investigating agency in gathering evidence and questioning the accused.It observed that the scam involving Rs 371 crore in the APSSDC is a socio-economic offence and considering its gravity, the petitioner could not be granted anticipatory bail.

The case pertains to the decision of the previous TDP government to set up Skill Development Centres at 40 places in the State.The government entered into an agreement with two companies. As per the pact, they need to spend 90 per cent of the funds, while the government bears the remaining 10% cost.  

The then government had paid its share of Rs 371 crore to the two firms. But the two firms had opened shell companies and diverted the funds to them in the name of supplying hardware and software to the skill development centres.

Based on a complaint lodged by the ASSDC officials, a case was registered by CID on December 9, 2021 and several officials of the corporation as well representatives of various firms were made accused. Vipin Sharma is one among the accused.

In the anticipatory bail petition, Vipin Sharma informed the court that he is a CA by profession and extends services to various clients. He denied having any role in the alleged scam. TMK Chaitanya, representing the CID, said the petitioner was operating some shell companies and had issued invoices on their names.

The CID maintained that the petitioner planned to earn easy money with the help of shell companies. It said the petitioner had got Rs 8.5 crore and the same was diverted to various companies.  

The petitioner entered into a criminal conspiracy with the other accused and is aware of the important aspects of the scam and there is a need to question the accused, the CID said.

Concurring with the CID, the court said the petitioner was in possession of three shell companies and the same was confirmed by the petitioner’s wife, who is a director in two of the companies. Considering the gravity of the offence, the court dismissed his bail petition.

Accused has three shell companies, observes court : The AP High Court said the petitioner was in possession of three shell companies and the same was confirmed by the petitioner’s wife, who is a director in two of the companies.

The petitioner, who was asked to appear before the CID, did not turn up. Considering the gravity of the offence, the court dismissed the bail petition of Vipin Sharma