Hyderabad, February 11: A petition was filed in an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court on Thursday against IAS officers, K Ratna Prabha (Principal Secretary, Information Technology and Communications), former MD and vice-chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial and Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) BP Acharya, Special Secretary, Information Technology Gopi Krishna and three others including two from the Raheja group, for allegedly conspiring to reduce APIIC’s stake in a joint venture, Mindspace.
The petition, filed by T Sriranga Rao, an advocate, alleged that the conspiracy, which resulted in the reduction of APIIC’s stake in the project from 11 per cent to 0.006 per cent, had caused a loss of Rs 500 crore to the government.
The ACB court posted the matter for further hearing to Feb 19. According to the petitioner, the State government entered into an agreement with K Raheja Corporation Pvt Ltd through its Information Technology and Communications Department to develop Mindspace Cyberabad project in a joint venture. As per the MoU, the authorised capital shall be RS 1 crore out of which Rs 11 lakh shall be contributed by the APIIC either in the form of cash or land.
Accordingly, the APIIC transferred land admeasuring 890.31 square metres to the JV as its share of 11 per cent. The Raheja group was to acquire 109 acres as its 89 per cent share from the government at the rate of Rs 55 lakh per acre.
However, without paying even a single paisa, the group got the land thanks to the MoU which extended a “rebate” of Rs 20,000 per every job created in Mindspace Cyberabad project.
The petitioner alleged that even the rate of Rs 55 lakh fixed per acre was much lesser when compared to similar agreements entered into with other software companies. The others had in different but similar agreements paid anything between Rs 1.5-2.5 crore per acre.
In May 2005, Rahejas proposed to increase the equity capital of the JV to Rs 20 crore.
The APIIC was requested to contribute Rs 2.09 crore towards its share of 11 per cent. The APIIC in turn addressed a letter dated May 5, 2005 to Principal Secretary (IT&C) proposing to transfer land at Nanakramguda to the JV as its contribution of Rs 2.09 crore.
“But Rs 31 crore liquid cash was available in the account of APIIC at the time. However, a letter was written to the government by the APIIC seeking its permission to transfer land in favour of Rahejas. This is nothing but a conspiracy to cheat the government,’’ Ranga Rao said.
He contended that any decision to increase or dilute the government stake in the JV must be taken by the Cabinet as per the business rules of the government. “However in view of the deal with Neil Rajehaja, MD of K Raheja Corp, Rabindranath, Head of Mindspace, IT&C department senior officials K Ratna Prabha and Gopi Krishna and Joint Director (FAC) PS Murthy, the file was neither placed before the Chief Secretary nor the concerned Minister nor the Chief Minister,” he said.