Andhra IRS officer booked for misappropriation of funds

Kishore, who served as Chief Executive Officer of Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board during the previous regime from September 2015 on deputation to the state, was suspended from service on December 12 over serious financial irregularities. Photo (Twitter/@JKRISHNAKISHORE)

A criminal case was registered against Indian Revenue Service officer Jasti Krishna Kishore for "criminally misappropriating funds" and causing loss to the government exchequer to the tune of crores of rupees.

Kishore, who served as Chief Executive Officer of Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board during the previous regime from September 2015 on deputation to the state, was suspended from service on December 12 over serious financial irregularities.

The 1990-batch officer was actually expecting a promotion to the rank of Principal Commissioner of Income Tax and wanted the state government to relieve him from deputation.

However, a departmental inquiry ordered by the state government reportedly established several wrongdoings in the EDB when Kishore was at the helm and hence placed him under suspension, top official sources said.

State Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, based on a report submitted by the Industries, Infrastructure and Investments Department, directed that the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Crime Investigation Department (CID) register criminal cases against Kishore and initiate action within six months.

Accordingly, the CID registered the first case late on Sunday night on a complaint filed by EDB special grade deputy collector P Tulasi Rani, under sections 188, 403, 409 and 120 (B) of Indian Penal Code and also under the APEDB Act, 2018.

Former accounts officer in the EDB B Srinivasa Rao has also been named as an accused in the case.

The CID FIR said Kishore "violated the norms of financial propriety" in matters of procurement, payment of advances, audit and accounting and thereby "criminally misappropriated government funds." "He recruited close confidants at very high salaries without following due process and committed criminal breach of trust. Further, they irregularly released advertisements in violation of relevant government orders and caused loss to the exchequer to the tune of crores of rupees," the FIR added.

The APEDB was constituted by the previous Chandrababu Naidu regime in 2015 on the lines of the Singapore EDB to attract investments, particularly from foreign countries, into AP. It functioned directly under the Chief Minister's supervision and there was no bar on its expenditure. Kishore undertook countless foreign tours between September 2015 and May 2019 and signed numerous MoUs, "which never translated into actual investments," the departmental inquiry established.

"More details of the financial embezzlement will come out in the CID investigation. The ACB will also conduct a parallel probe," a top official said. 

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