A court in Chittoor early Wednesday morning granted bail to Dr P Narayana, founder of the Narayana Educational Institutions Group and former Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Minister, who was arrested by Andhra Pradesh police on Tuesday in a paper leak case issue.
Chittoor Police had picked up Dr Narayana from Hyderabad and brought him to Chittoor Fourth Supplementary First Class Court at midnight. After Dr Narayana’s lawyers VR Ramakrishna and M Chandrashekar pointed out that he had resigned from the Narayana Trust in 2014 and was not associated with the management, the court granted bail around 4am to two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each.
On April 27, a teacher at a middle school in Tirupati run by the Narayana group allegedly leaked the questionnaire for the SSC Telugu exam for class X students. According to the police, the accused clicked a photo of the questionnaire an hour after the exam started and posted it on a social media group. Later, other SSC matter documents were similarly leaked in various districts.
Chittoor Police said seven people from Narayana institutions were arrested and they leaked the question papers at the request of management.
Police have so far arrested 69 people, including 45 teachers (including 36 from public schools), in connection with the leaks. Cases have been registered under the PA Public Examinations (Prevention of Malpractice and Unfair Means) Act 1997. More than six lakh students showed up for the exams which ended on Monday.
Dr Narayana’s arrest sparked a war of words, with TDP leaders calling the arrest a “witch hunt” and a vindictive move by the government led by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).
Dr Narayana was also named in another case. On May 9, Andhra Pradesh CID had registered an FIR against the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu, former Minister of Municipal Administration, Dr Narayana, Heritage Foods Ltd and 12 other people, for alleged irregularities in the construction of the Amaravati inner ring road.