Liquor scam: With ED summons looming, Kavitha reaches Delhi; suspense continues
The investigating agency has secured the extension of his custody till Monday to complete the questioning along with Kavitha.
Published: 20th March 2023 08:40 AM | Last Updated: 20th March 2023 09:37 AM | A+A A-
HYDERABAD: A day ahead of the Enforcement Directorate's notice asking BRS MLC K Kavitha to appear before it in the liquor scam, she left for Delhi on Sunday in a special aircraft from the Begumpet airport, accompanied by her husband Anil, brother and IT Minister K T Rama Rao, MPs Joginapally Santosh, Vaddiraju Ravi Chandra and others.
It may be recalled that Kavitha had skipped the inquiry on March 16, citing her petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the ED notice. The apex court listed her petition for hearing on March 24.
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Meanwhile, the ED on Saturday filed a caveat, urging the Supreme Court not to pass any orders until the probe agency’s arguments were heard. Suspense continues over whether Kavitha will appear before the ED or send her lawyer on her behalf as she had done on March 16.
The ED is likely to confront the BRS MLC along with Arun Ramachandra Pillai, a Hyderabad-based liquor businessman accused of money laundering and providing illegal gratification to public servants to secure liquor licenses in Delhi. The investigating agency has secured the extension of his custody till Monday to complete the questioning along with Kavitha.
Pillai was the frontman of the South Group cartel that allegedly included Kavitha. The cartel was the direct beneficiary of the Delhi scam. Pillai owns a 32.5 per cent stake in an entity that benefitted from the excise scam. He claimed Kavitha was a major stakeholder in that entity.
The ED claimed that the tweaks secured by South Group allegedly lead to massive cartelization at multiple vending levels violating suggestions of the expert committee and also led to the generation of windfall benefit to the liquor traders through increased commissions, parts of which was paid back allegedly to AAP through various middlemen. Delhi government exchequer meanwhile had suffered an alleged loss of Rs 2873 crores in the wake of this excise policy.
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