The High Court on Friday granted bail to former minister and MLA K. Atchannaidu who was arrested in the alleged involvement in ESI scam
The former TDP minister was arrested om July 12 for alleged irregularities in the procurement of equipment and services for ESI hospitals across the State.
Atchannaidu is currently getting treated for Covid-19 at NRI Hospital in Mangalagiri.
Cases were booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018 and Sections 409, 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.
Till now, the Anti-Corruption Bureau has failed to submit enough evidence against Atchannaidu of having received any money in the ESI scam.
Earlier, the Anti-Corruption Bureau court on had turned down the bail plea of TDP leader Atchannaidu after Supreme Court senior lawyer Luthra, representing his client Atchnnaidu, has filed the bail petition. Sidharth Luthra argued that Atchannaidu be allowed in a private hospital as he has not completely recovered from the second surgery. The lawyer contended that Atchannaidu needed better medical attention after he underwent a second surgery in the Guntur General Hospital. However, the ACB apprehending that Atchannaidu could tamper with the evidence has rejected the bail petition.
On July 2, a petition was filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court to shift Atchannaidu from Vijayawada sub-jail to the Guntur General Hospital. The petitioner, P Venkatesh, argued that the YSRCP government in an act of political vendetta has exerted pressure on the Guntur General Hospital management in discharging Atchannaidu from the hospital and shifted him to Vijayawada sub-jail. On July 1, Atchannaidu was discharged from the Guntur General Hospital and was shifted to Vijayawada sub-jail. Atchnnaidu was shifted to the Vijayawada sub-jail after the ACB sleuths had completed its interrogation in the Guntur General Hospital.
Atchnnaidu had also written to the superintendent of Guntur General Hospital that he be discharged from the hospital after his complete recovery. Further, Atchnnaidu in his letter to the superintendent noted that certain medical reports were still pending.
It may be noted that Atchannaidu was arrested on June 12 in an early morning swoop from his residence in Tekkali in Srikakulam district. Around 300 police personnel circled Atchannaidu’s residence, some of them even scaled the compound wall, barged in and arrested. The TDP leader at the time of arrest underwent piles surgery.
Despite the surgery, the TDP leader was made to travel more than 500 kms from his home town to Guntur and forced to sit in a car for over 15 hours. Atchannaidu was arrested in the ESI scam that relates to the purchase of drugs, medicines, medical kits and furniture.
The Vigilance and Enforcement directorate found irregularities in the procurement of drugs, medicines and medical kits. However, Vigilance and Enforcement directorate in its report named three directors of IMS, but Atchnnaidu’s name was not mentioned in the report.