CBI court summons Andhra minister in Volkswagen case


A special court dealing with CBI cases on Friday issued summons to Andhra Pradesh Cabinet minister Botsa Satyanarayana in a 14-year-old Volkswagen case.

The court asked Satyanarayana, a witness in the case, to appear in the court on September 12 to record his statement.

Satyanarayana was the Industry Minister in the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government in undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2005 when the scandal had surfaced.

Satyanarayana, then a Congress leader, is currently the Minister of Urban Development in the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government led by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The state government had allegedly paid Rs 11.67 crore to Vashishta Vahan Pvt Ltd, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of German carmaker Volkswagen, floated for setting up a manufacturing unit at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. However, Vashishta Vahan turned out to be a fictitious entity.

The scam came to light in 2005 when Volkswagen sacked its then head of Indian operations Helmuth Schuster on charges of corruption in some other dealings. Schuster was negotiating with the state government on behalf of Volkswagen for setting up the car plant in Visakhapatnam.

Following allegations by the opposition that Satyanarayana and some others paid the money to Vashistha Vahan through “dubious” means, the state government ordered the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CBI in 2010 filed charge-sheet against six accused, including Schuster. They were charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating. However, Satyanarayana was included as a witness in the case.

The other accused include businessman Jagdish Alaga Raja and his sister Gayatri Chandravadanan, Ashok Kumar Jain, Bhuwan Kumar Chaturvedi and Joseph V George. They allegedly colluded with Schuster in floating Vashishta Vahan.

In 2015, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also filed a charge-sheet in the case.

Meanwhile, Satyanarayana told reporters in Amaravati that he was only a witness in the case. He said he was summoned as the 60th witness in the case.

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