CBI court rejects bail plea of accused in APIIC-Emaar case

The special CBI court here today dismissed the bail petition of industrialist Koneru Rajendra Prasad, an accused in the APIIC-Emaar township project case.

Judge Nagamaruti Sarma upheld CBI's contention that investigation was in progress, and if the petitioner was released on bail, the purchasers of villas/plots in the project may not come forward to give statements.

According to CBI, Koneru received Rs 138 crore from the buyers for the plots developed by Emaar MGF in the controversial township project at Gachibowli here, after grossly undervaluing the market price, which caused a huge loss to the company. Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) holds equity in the project.

Koneru, chairman of Trimex group and promoter of Stylish Homes Real Estate Private Limited, was said to have been instrumental in finalizing the deal between APIIC and Emaar. He was arrested by CBI on November 3 last year, and is lodged at the Chachalguda jail here. This is the second time his bail plea has been dismissed.

While opposing the bail plea, CBI had also submitted that after Koneru's arrest, most purchasers of villas were coming forward to give statements.

The judge observed in the order that "misappropriation alleged against the petitioner being in crores of rupees and the investigation being in progress, and when there is a strong apprehension entertained by CBI that in case the petitioner is released on bail the purchasers of villas may not come out freely in giving their statements....I find no reason to release petitioner on bail."

Last August, Andhra Pradesh High Court ordered a CBI inquiry into the land allotments made to Emaar during the term of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government, and into the dilution of APIIC's stake in the township joint venture.

The CBI later registered case against Emmar—MGF, its sister concern and others on the charge that state officials favored it unduly.

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