Witnesses coerced, says ED counsel during BRS MLC K Kavitha's hearing

There are direct proceeds of crime through bank accounts, where she is a beneficiary, the ED’s counsel told the judge.
In her bail petition, Kavitha claimed that her 16-year-old son has exams and needs his mother’s “moral and emotional support.”
In her bail petition, Kavitha claimed that her 16-year-old son has exams and needs his mother’s “moral and emotional support.”File photo

HYDERABAD: During a bail petition hearing of BRS leader K Kavitha in a New Delhi court on Thursday, special counsel Zoheb Hossain, representing the ED, claimed that witnesses had been coerced by Kavitha to retract their statements, citing her attempt to influence Arun Ramachandra Pillai, as evidence. In her bail petition, Kavitha claimed that her 16-year-old son has exams and needs his mother’s “moral and emotional support.”

Zoheb said that the timing of retraction is important in this case. The summons were issued to Kavitha on March 7 which prompted Pillai to file an application on March 9, retracting his statement “under threat or coercion.”

“The accused in question is one of the prime movers of giving bribes. She is not only part of arranging kickbacks in advance but also beneficiary through Indospirit. I am not relying on statements alone. I have material, WhatsApp documents etc. There are direct proceeds of crime through bank accounts, where she is a beneficiary,” the ED’s counsel told the judge.

“We are (on the) verge of a crucial breakthrough, and any relief at this stage will hamper the investigation. There is an attempt to make at least two or three witnesses to retract statements. Out of which one or two people, she has already succeeded,” the ED counsel said.

In an application moved on behalf of the BRS leader, advocate Nitesh Rana sought relief for her, claiming that Kavitha had deep roots in society and that she could not be treated as a common criminal or a “gangster”.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who appeared for the BRS leader, claimed that the perspective of a mother is not substitutable by father, sister or brother.

Singhvi said, “The woman accused in this case has a child whose exams are admittedly in these months, going onto April. It’s not that the child is in arms or is a toddler. He is 16 years old. The issue is different. It’s the moral and emotional support of the mother.”

“There is trauma and shock about what has happened and two, there is silence. We have documented databases dealing with the phenomenon. The perspective of a mother is not substitutable by the father or sister or brother,” he told the court.

Singhvi said that no immediate interrogation is there that cannot wait these few weeks.

“Let’s take a hypothetical example that your lordships allow her to be with the son for a month. How would the heavens fall? Where will the ED go? An exam anxiety doesn’t have to be a medical condition for the mother to join,” he added. The court heard the submissions made by Kavitha’s and ED counsel and reserved its order for Monday.

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