HYDERABAD: More than five months after the CBI registered a case against him, the agency finally arrested senior IAS officer B P Acharya in connection with the APIICEmaar Properties scam on Monday.
Named as accused No.1 in the scam, Acharya is likely to be suspended from service shortly. Acharya, presently principal secretary (home), is the second IAS officer to be arrested in the state, the first being Y Srilakshmi, an accused in the illegal mining scam involving Gali Janardhan Reddy.
Acharya, a 1983 batch IAS officer, was summoned to the Dilkusha guest house for questioning in the morning.
He was arrested in the afternoon under Sections 120-B read with 420, 409, 420, 477-A of the IPC and sections 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (c) and (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
After the arrest, Acharya was produced in the special CBI court.
The agency quickly moved a petition seeking police custody. The court granted two days in police custody, and the officer was taken to the Chanchalguda prison in Hyderabad. Acharya, who was the managing director of the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) when the scam took place, is alleged to have played a key role in the dilution of the corporation’s equity from 49 per cent to 26 per cent and then to 6.5 per cent in a township developed by the Dubaibased Emaar group.
The alleged reduction in equity caused a loss of crores of rupees to the state exchequer. Acharya is the fourth person to be arrested in the case, the first being industrialist Koneru Prasad, the second N Sunil Reddy, a close aide of Kadapa MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and the third, Vijay Raghavan, a top executive of Emaar. It was reportedly on the basis of a statement given by Vijay Raghavan that the CBI finally moved to arrest Acharya.
The arrest had been on the cards ever since the CBI named him as accused no.
1 in the FIR registered by the CBI following a directive from the AP High Court on August 17. The CBI had stated in the FIR that Acharya, in collusion with Parthasarthy Rao, brother-in-law of K V P Ramachandra Rao, a confidante of the late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, diluted APIIC’s equity, allegedly at the behest of KVP and Kadapa MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
It was alleged that the sale of 535 acres of land by APIIC to Emaar Properties at `29 lakh per acre was grossly undervalued.
The subsequent transfer of the project by Emaar Properties to Emaar MGF was never brought to the notice of APIIC, it was alleged.