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Delhi excise policy case: BRS MLC K Kavitha files plea against court's approval for CBI to quiz her in Tihar

New Delhi: The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha filed an application in Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court opposing permission granted to the CBI to quiz her in Tihar Jail in relation to the state excise policy case.
Plea stated that CBI thwarted due process of law by filing a plea behind her back. The BRS MLC, in her plea, says that it has grave apprehension that the CBI may not have divulged true facts in order to obtain a favourable order from the court. Kavitha wants the court to keep its order in abeyance untill her side is heard.
The plea stated that it is extremely disappointing and unfortunate that an Application has been moved by the CBI for purported examination of the Applicant while still in custody without serving a copy either upon on her or her counsel. Such a practice is unknown to the basic tenets of criminal jurisprudence and thus cannot be sustained in the eyes of the law.
The Special Judge Kaveri Baweja heard the submissions and granted time to CBI to file response on K Kavitha's application opposing permission granted to CBI to quiz her in Tihar Jail in relation to Excise policy case. The Court fixed matter for April 10, 2024 for hearing on the matter.
The plea has been filed by Advocate Deepak Nagar on behalf of K Kavitha. Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhari and Advocate Nitesh Rana appeared for K Kavitha in the matter.
On Friday, the Delhi Court allowed the CBI plea to quiz/examine K Kavitha during judicial custody in the Tihar Jail on any day of the coming week.
CBI, through its application, sought court permission to interrogate/quiz and record the statement of BRS Leader K Kavitha regarding WhatsApp chats recovered from Buchi Babu's phone and documents to a land deal post in which 100 crores were allegedly paid to the Aam Aadmi Party in kickbacks.
Earlier, on March 26, 2024, the Rouse Avenue Court sent Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha to judicial custody until April 9, 2024. She was arrested recently in connection with a Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case.
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) arrested K Kavitha MLC, Telangana Legislative Council, on March 15, 2024, in the case of the 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 investigation revealed 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.
By the 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 kickbacks from wholesalers was generated for the AAP. Further, Smt 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 Proceeds of Crime generated, assets worth Rs 128.79 Crore have been traced so far and have been attached vide Provisional Attachment Orders dated 24.01.2023 and July 3, 2023. Both the attachment orders have been confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority, 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 an alleged loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer.

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