ESI Scam: ACB Court Dismisses Atchannaidu Bail Plea

 - Sakshi Post

VIJAYAWADA: ESI scam accused and TDP MLA Atchannaidu’s hopes of securing a bail in the case received a setback after an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Court dismissed his plea in this regard here on Friday. The former minister, who was arrested and currently lodged in Vijayawada Sub Jail, is an A-2 accused in the case of swindling ESI funds meant for the purchase of medicines and equipment for the government hospitals.

Atchannaidu was recently remanded to a 14-day custody of the ACB that is investigating the case. He was also discharged from the government hospital here, where he was treated for previous ailments, following which he was shifted to the sub jail.

Dashing his hopes of securing freedom from the jail, the ACB court on Friday rejected his bail plea after the investigating agency severely opposed it. The ACB submitted to the court that the investigation into the case is at a very crucial stage and several others also need to be questioned in connection with the ESI scam. It expressed apprehensions that giving bail to the A-2 accused at this juncture might affect the probe as the evidences could be tampered with.

Concurring with the ACB’s argument, the ACB court refused bail to Atchannaidu and dismissed his petition. Following this, Atchannaidu was shifted back to the Vijayawada Sub-Jail. Besides Atchannaidu, eight others including the former directors of Andhra Pradesh ESI board were also arrested in connection with the case.

After preliminary investigation, the ACB has established the involvement of 18 persons besides Atchannaidu in the scam in which more than Rs 150 crores were alleged to have been misappropriated. The investigating agency has so far filed two FIRs in the case.

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