Former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has been granted two days of CID custody by the Vijayawada ACB Court. He will be questioned in the skill development case while being held at Rajahmundry Central Jail. The court ordered the questioning to occur from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the presence of Naidu’s lawyers, with a stipulation that no photographs or videos of the interrogation should be released.
The CID had initially requested five days of custody, but the court approved only two days and asked for the names of officials conducting the questioning. After the two-day period, Naidu will be produced before the court via video conference.
This decision followed the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s dismissal of Naidu’s petition to quash the FIR against him and his judicial remand. His judicial custody has been extended until September 24.
Naidu was arrested on September 9 in Nandyal by the CID and subsequently sent to judicial custody for 14 days by the ACB Court in Vijayawada. The request for house custody was also denied by the court.
The case revolves around the establishment of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in Andhra Pradesh, with a project value of Rs 3,300 crore during Naidu’s tenure as chief minister. The CID alleges that this led to a loss of Rs 371 crore for the state government. They claim that the government’s advance of Rs 371 crore was diverted to shell companies through fake invoices, with no actual delivery of the mentioned items. The CID asserts that the private entities’ spending on skill development clusters was entirely sourced from funds advanced by the state government and the Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Centre, totaling Rs 371 crore.