4 AP bureaucrats, two Raheja executives booked for cheating

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Hyderabad, Feb 22 (PTI) Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)today registered a case against six persons, including two IASofficers and an IPS officer, for allegedly causing a Rs 660-crore loss to the exchequer by hatching a "conspiracy" andreducing the Andhra Pradesh Government''s stake in a jointventure with private realty firm Raheja Corporation.

The JV, Raheja Mindscape, was result of an agreementsigned in 2003 between Government-run Andhra PradeshIndustrial Infrastructure Corp (APIIC) and Raheja Group for anIT park at Madhapur, a high-tech city near here.

The case was filed against Principal Secretary(IT & Communication) K Ratna Prabha, Principal Secretary(Home) B P Acharya (then MD of APIIC), Special Secretary GopiKrishna and Joint Secretary B S Murthy (both then posted inIT&C Department), Neil Raheja, Managing Director of K RahejaCorp, and B Rabindranath, Head of Mindspace project, a top ACBofficial ACB said.

While, Ratna Prabha and Acharya are IAS officers,Krishna belong to IPS cadre.

"Following an ACB Court directive to file an FIR inthe matter, we today registered the case under relevantsections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian PenalCode (IPC)," ACB Director General Umesh Kumar told PTI.

The six have been charged with, among other things,criminal breach of trust by public servant and cheating.

Acting on a petition filed by advocate T Sriranga Rao,the court on February 19 had asked the ACB Director General tofile an FIR against the four Government officials and twosenior executives from Raheja Group, investigate the matterand file a status report by March 31.

Rao, in his petition, had claimed "the Government''sshare in the JV came down to 0.006 per cent as against 11 percent stipulated earlier due to unilateral decisions taken bythe four officials which caused more than Rs 660-crore loss tothe exchequer."The official said ACB had collected records from theIT&C Department, APIIC and Rahejas as part of its probe.

The petitioner said the agreement was signed by IT&CDepartment with Raheja Corporation for allotment of land forthe joint venture project in Madhapur. APIIC was to representState Government in the JV.

As per the MoU, the authorisation capital was set atRs 1 crore, of which Raheja Group was to provide Rs 89 lakhand APIIC contribute Rs 11 lakh by way of land or cash.

After this, the APIIC transferred 890 sq metre of landto the joint venture as its share of 11 per cent. TheGovernment then allotted 110 acres (at Rs 50 lakh per acre)for the project, which was at lower price than the landallotted to other IT companies, Rao maintained.

The petitioner had further said the four bureaucratssubsequently colluded with Raheja Group officials andsubstantially reduced the 11 per cent stake of APIIC in thejoint venture causing financial loss to the Government. PTIVVK RSY

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