This Article is From Jan 30, 2012

Andhra Pradesh's Home Secretary arrested in Emaar scandal

Andhra Pradesh's Home Secretary arrested in Emaar scandal
Hyderabad: One of Andhra Pradesh's most senior bureaucrats, IAS officer BP Acharya has been arrested in Hyderabad on charges of corruption. Mr Acharya is the Principle Home Secretary. He has been sent to the CBI custody till February 1.

The case involves Emaar Properties, a real estate giant headquartered in Dubai, which built a high-end hotel, golf course and luxury villas on close to 500 acres in Manikonda. Emaar in 2002 partnered with the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) which says the developer has cheated it of crores of profit by siphoning money to Dubai. The CBI is investigating the case. In 2005, Mr Acharya was the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the APIIC. The charges against him include cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Some of the land for the township had allegedly been acquired by farmers who were told that their property was needed to set up industrial projects. The villas, which were bought by local film stars and A-list entrepreneurs were reportedly under-valued in documents, costing the government thousands of crores.

Mr Achrya is the third person arrested so far for this case. In recent days, an industrialist named Koneru Prasad and Sunil Reddy, who is a close aide of politician Jagan Mohan Reddy, have also been jailed. Jagan's father, YSR, was Chief Minister when the state's controversial partnership with Emaar was forged. YSR died in 2009 in a helicopter crash. Those close to Jagan claim the case exemplifies political vendetta. They believe the Congress government is using it to undermine the popularity that Jagan enjoys among voters who swear allegiance to his father even today.