15 questioned in Telugu Akademi scam

The Hyderabad Central Crime police have expedited the investigation into the alleged financial fraud in the Telugu Akademi bank accounts.

On Thursday, more than 15 persons, including bank officials concerned and employees of the Telugu Akademi, were questioned in connection with the misappropriation.

An official associated with the investigation told The Hindu that about ₹64 crore allotted to the Akademi, which was made fixed deposit in three public sector banks, was being transferred to the bank accounts of the Agrasen Cooperative Urban Bank Ltd., and RBL Bank, by some persons since December last.

“The suspects have left only ₹5 lakh in the Akademi’s accounts,” the officer said, adding that a total of three cases were registered.

He said the misused money was deposited by the Akademi after the retail sale of textbooks of Intermediate, degree, postgraduation courses and various competitive examination preparation books. “The State government pays salaries to the Akademi staff. So the misused amount was earned by the institution.”

Police said a private agent played a key role in the fixed deposit of money in Union Bank of India. “By Saturday we will get some clarity in the case and can zero in on the actual suspects. As of now, everybody will be considered suspect in the case,” an officer said.

SC directive

The alleged misuse of funds came to light only after Akademi director Somi Reddy directed the officials to examine the bank accounts following the directions of the Supreme Court for ‘bifurcation’ of the institution for both the Telugu-speaking States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for equal distribution of funds and assets. Soon, the officials found that ₹43 crore deposited in the Karwan branch of the Union Bank of India was ‘missing’. Similarly ₹10 crore and nearly ₹11 crore went missing from two other branches, the investigators said.

The Akademi also ordered a departmental inquiry by a committee headed by Intermediate Education Commissioner Omar Jaleel.

The committee had been set October 2 deadline for submitting its report.

The police are inquiring as to who was holding the account to which the amount was transferred initially.

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