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Delhi Court sends BRS leader K Kavitha to Judicial custody in Excise PMLA case, hearing on interim bail on April 1

New Delhi: The Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday sent Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha to Judicial Custody till April 9, 2024. She was arrested recently in connection with Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case.
The Special Judge Kaveri Baweja, while sending her to Tihar Jail for 14 days, also fixed hearing on Interim bail plea for April 1, 2024.
Kavitha appeared in court through Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhari, along with Advocates Nitesh Rana, Mohit Rao and Deepak Nagar She had moved an interim bail application, citing that examinations of her 16-year-old son are about to begin.
Enforcement Directorate, while requesting that the court send her to Judicial custody, stated that the arrestee (Kavitha) is highly influential and there is every likelihood that the arrestee will influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence if released, which may hamper the ongoing investigation.
The department is still further investigating the role of the arrestee in the instant matter and is unearthing the further proceeds of crime and identifying the other persons who are involved or connected with the process or activities related to proceeds of crime.
Investigation into economic crimes is more complex than ordinary crimes as economic offenders are resourceful and influential persons having deep roots in the society and commit the said crimes in a carefully planned and meticulous manner, thereby rendering the investigation process a complicated exercise.
Advocates Zoheb Hossain, Naveen Kumar Matta and Simon Benjamin appeared for Enforcement Directorate in the matter.
During the hearing today, the accused, K Kavitha was produced physically before the court. She was produced at the end of ED remand period.
Directorate of Enforcement (ED) arrested K Kavitha MLC, Telangana Legislative Council on March 15, 2024, in the case of Delhi Liquor Policy Scam. A search was also conducted at the residence of K Kavitha in Hyderabad on March 15, 2024. During the search proceedings, the ED officials were obstructed by the relatives and associates of K Kavitha, said ED through a statement.
ED has alleged that K Kavitha along with others conspired with the top leaders of AAP including Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia for getting favours in the Delhi Excise policy-formulation and implementation. In exchange of these favours, she was involved in paying Rs. 100 Crore to the leaders of AAP.
Through acts of corruption and conspiracy in the formulation and implementation of Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, a continuous stream of illegal funds in the form of kickback, from the wholesalers was generated for the AAP. Further, K Kavitha and her associates were to recover the proceeds of crime paid in advance to AAP and to further generate profits/proceeds of crime from this entire conspiracy, stated ED.
Till date, the ED has conducted searches on 245 locations across the country, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and other places. 15 people, including Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and Vijay Nair from AAP, have been arrested in the case so far.
ED has filed 1 prosecution complaint and 5 supplementary complaints in the case so far.
Further, out of the proceeds of crime generated, assets worth Rs. 128.79 crore have been traced so far and have been attached via provisional attachment orders dated 24.01.2023 and July 3, 2023. Both the attachment orders have been confirmed by the adjudicating authority in New Delhi.
ED has filed its first chargesheet in the case. The agency said it has so far undertaken nearly 200 search operations in this case after filing an FIR taking cognizance of a CBI case that was registered on the recommendation of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor.
The CBI inquiry was recommended based on the findings of the Delhi Chief Secretary's report filed in July showing prima facie violations of the GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials said.
The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, 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. The beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection, the probe agencies said.
As per the allegations, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 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, the probe agency said and there was alleged loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer. 

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