A special court in Hyderabad hearing cases related to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Telugu industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad. The warrant came after the court was informed of the businessman's detention in Serbia, reportedly based on a complaint by the government of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Prasad is an accused in the corruption cases being probed against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, related to the Vadarevu-Nizampatnam Port and Industrial Corridor (Vanpic) project.
Prasad could not attend court, following which his lawyer was pulled up for failing to file a memo seeking an exemption, for failing to appear for the hearing. Prasad's counsel said that he had informed the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of the businessman's detention and was not given any orders on filing a petition before the court.
Media reports stated that Prasad has been released but has been ordered not to leave Serbia until further notice.
"We are intimating the CBI so that they can take steps to bring him back to face the trial. So now the onus is on CBI to bring him back stating that he is required here," Prasad's counsel had told PTI last week.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is investigating the case, had earlier launched a probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and claimed that Prasad allegedly paid bribes to Jagan Reddy in the form of investments totalling about Rs 779.50 crore in the latter's companies â€” Jagati Publications Ltd, Carmel Asia Holdings Pvt Ltd, Bharathi Cement Corp Pvt Ltd and Silicon Builders Pvt Ltd.
Investigators in the ED said Prasad also paid Rs 57 crore to Jagan Reddy on the pretext of secondary purchase of shares and donation of Rs 7 crore to the YSR Foundation.
In lieu of the alleged bribes, Prasad was "illegally" awarded the project for the development of the Vadarevu-Nizampatnam Port and Industrial Corridor, the ED claimed.