Vijayawada: Former minister and TDP MLA K. Atchannaidu who was arrested in the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) scam tested positive for COVID-19 on 13 August. He is undergoing treatment at the Ramesh Hospital in Vijayawada where his condition is said to be stable.

On 12 June, the senior TDP leader and five others had been arrested by the sleuths of the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) over their alleged involvement in the Rs. 150 crore ESI scam during the previous TDP regime in Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which recently rejected the Atchannaidu’s bail plea in the ESI scam, had relied on a Supreme Court judgment delivered to end the menace of corruption in the country. The former labour minister was charged under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and the IPC, including cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The ACB, which is investigating the ESI scam, accused Atchannaidu of interfering in the activities of the Insurance Medical Services responsible for running ESI facilities in the state. The ACB observed that Atchannaidu had issued letters between October and November 2016 to the then IMS director ordering him to issue a work order to Tele Health Services Private Limited, Hyderabad, for services related to a call centre, toll-free services, ECG services, and patient case management system and software services.

The TDP leader had pressured the IMS director to give work order to Tele-Health Services Private Limited even though the director had refused stating it would cause financial loss and affect the state exchequer.

Abdul Rafeeq

Abdul Rafeeq is a media student who is currently interning with NewsMeter. He has worked as a copywriter with Artrix Technologies in the past.

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