Delhi court extends Enforcement Directorate’s custody of BRS leader K Kavitha till March 26

BRS MLC K Kavitha was brought before Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court as the ED sought an extension of her custody which ended today. The agency informed the Court that searches are underway at Kavitha's nephew, Mekha Saran's residence.

Livemint, Written By Jocelyn Fernandes
Updated23 Mar 2024, 01:29 PM IST
File image of BRS leader K Kavitha waving to supporters as the Enforcement Directorate detained her in the alleged Delhi excise policy case
File image of BRS leader K Kavitha waving to supporters as the Enforcement Directorate detained her in the alleged Delhi excise policy case(ANI)

A Delhi court on March 23 further remanded Bharat Rashtriya Samithi (BRS) legislator K Kavitha to the Enforcement Directorate's custody till March 26 in connection with the Delhi Liquor Policy case.

Earlier during the hearing, the Court also allowed K Kavitha to meet her two sons and other family members in the courtroom, news agency ANI reported.

Speaking to the media while leaving the courtroom, Kavitha said, “We are fighting. Making so many political arrests at the time of elections is wrong. ECI should intervene and protect democracy in this country...Jai Telangana…”

Kavitha was brought to Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi earlier on Saturday to be produced before the Special Judge, the ANI report said. Notably, her ED custody ends today (March 23).

The ED, while seeking a further five-day remand of Kavitha, informed the Court that searches are underway at her nephew Mekha Saran's residence.

SC rejects bail plea of BRS leader K Kavitha

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India on Friday (March 22) refused to grant bail to Kavitha.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, MM Sundresh, and Bela M Trivedi asked Kavitha to approach the trial court, saying it is a practice that this court is following and cannot bypass the protocol.

Appearing for Kavitha in the apex court, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that people are being arrested based on an approver's statement. To which the SC Bench said it is not going into the merit of the case at the moment.

Kavitha had moved the SC challenging her arrest by the ED in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

Case Background and Arrest

A member of the Telangana Legislative Council and daughter of former state chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, Kavitha was arrested on March 15 and remanded to the ED’s custody till March 23 in the case. She was arrested after a search operation conducted at Kavitha's residence.

According to the ED, Kavitha along with others allegedly conspired with the top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) including the recently arrested Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia to get favours in the Delhi Excise policy formulation and implementation.

ED officials said that Kavitha was involved in paying 100 crore to the leaders of AAP in exchange for the favours.

To date, a total of 16 persons including Kejriwal, Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, and Vijay Nair from AAP have been arrested in the case so far.

Delhi Excise Policy case

The ED and the CBI alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy. It said undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority's approval.

Notably, the, accused, Pillai was reportedly a partner of 32.5 percent in Indo Spirits, which had got an L1 licence. Indo Spirits is a partnership firm of Arun, Prem Rahul and Indospirit Distribution Limited.

According to ANI, Arun and Prem Rahul represented the benami investments of Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and his son Raghava Magunta.

It was further alleged that the beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.

As per the allegations, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules.

Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.

This allegedly caused a loss of 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.

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First Published:23 Mar 2024, 01:29 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaDelhi court extends Enforcement Directorate’s custody of BRS leader K Kavitha till March 26

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