Delhi liquor scam: K Kavitha summoned by ED; likely to skip due to political commitments

Kavitha, a Bharat Rashtra Samithi party MLC, has been asked to depose on March 9 before the federal agency in the national capital.

Published: 08th March 2023 09:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2023 07:11 PM   |  A+A-

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha after questioning by the CBI in connection with the 'Delhi excise policy scam', in Hyderabad. (Photo | PTI)

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha after questioning by the CBI in connection with the 'Delhi excise policy scam', in Hyderabad. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Directorate of Enforcement has asked BRS leader K Kavitha, the daughter of Telangana CM, K Chandrashekhar Rao to appear before it for questioning after the arrest of Arun Ramachandran Pillai one of the key accused facing charges of corruption as well as money laundering in the Delhi Excise Policy scam case. 

The ED summon assumes significance as it is being issued at the time when Delhi’s ex-Deputy CM, Manish Sisodia is also being questioned by the agency in judicial custody for the first time in the scam about the laundering of the proceeds of the kickbacks generated out of alleged corruption in the Delhi Excise policy 2021-22.

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Kavitha, however, is likely to skip the summon on Thursday due to her commitments to a political rally at Jantar Mantar seeking the introduction and passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, by the ruling BJP-led government at the centre.

Confirming the summons from ED to appear before the agency on March 9, Kavitha wrote in a statement that, “as a law-abiding citizen, I will fully cooperate with the investigation agencies” adding, “however due to the Dharna and prefixed appointments, I’ll seek legal options on the date of attending it.”

ALSO READ | Delhi liquor scam: ED chargesheet full of lies, claims Kavitha

In an aggressive stance in the statement, she also said “I would like the ruling party at the centre to know that these tactics of intimidation against the fight and voice of our leader CM Shri KC Rao and against the entire BRS party will not deter us.”

Meanwhile, the ED also grilled Sisodia inside the Tihar Jail for six hours while securing custody of Pillai on Tuesday.

The ED alleged Pillai – a Hyderabad-based businessman was allegedly involved in the tweaking of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 at the formulation stage and being one of the beneficiaries of kickback money which he laundered subsequently.  

He is currently being interrogated in ED custody as the agency secured his remand till March 13.

According to the ED, Pillai was the 32.5 per cent owner of a front in which Kavitha had a substantial stake. He was the representative of the 'South Group' of liquor traders and was a direct beneficiary of the kickback money and was also involved in laundering it.

The liquor traders of the South Group include prominent persons and politicians including Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, his son Raghav Magunta, Sharath Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma and Kavitha herself.

Pillai, ED alleged, received the kickback money amounting to several crores.

The ED in January has already attached several movable and immovable properties of Pillai and his wife in Hyderabad and other places worth Rs. 5.72 crore as part of its action to recover the government money which was allegedly generated as kickback and laundered in the Delhi Excise scam.

The ED in January moved to freeze properties estimated to be around Rs 76. 54 cores, belonging to various accused involved in the Delhi Liquor Excise scam.

The scam which allegedly took shape due to planned tweaks in the Excise policy to benefit liquor cartels, politicians and government officials is being probed by both ED and CBI for money laundering and corruption respectively.

With Pillai arrested, Raghav Magunta and Sisodia already in judicial custody, the ED investigations are at a very crucial stage.

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