Delhi liquor scam: ED summons BRS MLC K Kavitha

Both the ED and CBI have alleged that Kavitha received kickbacks in the form of a significant share in Indo Spirit, held under the name of Arun Pillai as a Benami.

Published: 15th September 2023 10:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2023 10:11 AM   |  A+A-

BRS MLC K Kavitha | Express

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a summons asking MLC K Kavitha to appear before its officials for questioning at its New Delhi office on Friday over her alleged involvement in the Delhi excise policy scam.

Three accused persons in the case, P Sharath Chandra Reddy, Magunta Raghava Reddy and MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, have turned approvers. The ED issued the summons just a day after Arun Ramachandran Pillai reportedly turned approver.

The agency has repeatedly claimed that Arun Pillai had organised meetings for what is referred to as the “South Group”, which had allegedly paid Rs 100 crore in “kickbacks” to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ministers, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. It is alleged that the BRS leader was part of the “South Group” and benefited from illicit payments.

Both the ED and CBI have alleged that Kavitha received kickbacks in the form of a significant share in Indo Spirit, held under the name of Arun Pillai as a Benami.

Kavitha has already faced questioning by the ED three times on March 16, 20 and 21, and she is now being summoned for the fourth time. The Central Bureau Of Investigation also questioned her at her residence as part of the case.

BRS leaders are growing increasingly concerned about the outcome of the interrogation, given that at least three individuals previously accused in the case, have turned approvers. Meanwhile, within BRS circles, there is speculation about what information the approvers may have provided to the ED regarding Kavitha’s involvement in the scam. According to ED sources, her summons are based on the statements provided by these approvers.

Later in the day, Kavitha said that she had forwarded a copy of the notice to the party’s legal team and would act based on their advice.Sources said Kavitha may choose not to appear at the ED’s office, citing her pending petition in the Supreme Court. In her petition, she alleged that the ED questioned her in violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure norms for questioning women. Her legal team is preparing a response to the ED regarding her pending petition.

Amidst speculation, particularly after the BJP’s defeat in Karnataka and the subsequent change in the Telangana BJP State president, it seemed that the investigation into Kavitha’s role in the scam had slowed down, leading to suspicions of a covert understanding between BRS and the saffron party. However, the latest ED summons has left BRS followers puzzled as it contradicts reports of improved relations between the two parties.

In response to these developments, Union Minister and BJP State president G Kishan Reddy said the ED operates in accordance with the provisions of the law, and there is no scope for the party to exert any undue pressure on it. He reiterated that the ED and the CBI carry out their investigations based on the evidence they uncover.

AICC secretary and MLA D Sridhar Babu criticised the BRS and BJP for attempting to divert public attention away from the upcoming CWC meeting on September 16 and the subsequent public meeting a day after, by bringing Kavitha’s issue to centre stage.

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