Raheja Mindspace- APIIC joint venture case was reopened on Wednesday

ACB court summons senior Andhra and Telangana babus over Rahejas industries scandalGyan1 Wikimedia Commons
news Thursday, December 31, 2015 - 10:41

The ACB court has summoned three IAS officers and one IPS officer along with three more accused for a fresh hearing in the Raheja Mindpsace-APIIC(Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation case which was closed by the anti-Corruption Bureau nearly a year ago.

According to the report in Times of India, the Raheja Mindspace- APIIC joint venture case was reopened on Wednesday and summons have been issued to senior IAS officers B P Acharya, L V Subrahmanyam, K Ratnaprabha and IPS officer M Gopikrishna.

B P Acharya is currently the home secretary of Telangana, while L V Subramanyam is a special chief secretary for AP government, and also looks after the youth services department. K Ratnaprabha is serving in Karnataka as the additional chief secretary of industries and commerce while IPS officer K Gopikrishna is additional DG of organisation and reforms, Telangana. 

The other accused in the case are the Hyderabad's project head B Rabindranath, project MD Neil Raheja and PS Murthy joint secretary of the IT and communication department in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The ACB issued the summons after a protest petition filed by Telangana advocate T Sriranga Rao against reduction of the government's stake in the Raheja Mindspace project at Hi-Tech City, Madhapur.

According to a report in PTI, 

Advocate T Sriranga Rao, a city-based lawyer, has challenged before the court, the clean chit given by the Anti-Corruption Bureau to these bureaucrats as well as the top officials of Raheja Corporation over "dilution" of APIIC stake in the Raheja Mindspace project.

In 2011, the ACB court referred the case to the director general of ACB with a direction that an FIR be registered after a complaint was lodged saying that these officials had allowed the Rahejas to reduce the APIIC stake of 11 per cent in the joint venture to 0.55 per cent in a deceitful manner, reported TOI.

But, in 2014, the court closed the case after an ACB report said that the Rahejas had restored the 11 per cent stake to the government.

The petitioner, however, filed a protest petition challenging the closure of the case and urged the court to look into the facts and grey areas which ACB allegedly ignored.

The counsel for the petitioner, told the court that the stake reduction decision had resulted in a loss of Rs 500 crore to the government's exchequer.

The Counsel added,

As per the agreement, the Rahejas were given 109 acres by the state with a condition that they should mobilise resources for developing the project, the company in 2007 came out with a strange idea that the state should provide matching grant for the resources the company pooled.

The role of APIIC and IT&C officials became questionable because the Rahejas sought only Rs 2 crore additional fund from the state. These officials took a stand that the APIIC did not possess enough funds for meeting this requirement and instead allowed the company to reduce the state's stake, he said.

In fact, APIIC had in its coffers an amount of Rs 31 crore at that time, the counsel added. Later, following huge public uproar, the Rahejas agreed to restore the APIIC's stake to 11 per cent.

Citing this as a reason, the ACB wanted to close the case in contravention of the provisions of the criminal procedure code.

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