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Excise Case: Delhi Court extends judicial custody of BRS leader K Kavitha till April 23

New Delhi: The Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha till April 23, 2024, in relation to the excise policy money laundering case.
The Special Judge, Kaveri Baweja, allowed the plea of the Enforcement Directorate, stating that she's made attempts to influence the witnesses, and tampered with evidence and hence her judicial custody should be extended by 14 days.
Advocate Nitesh Rana appeared for K Kavitha and opposed the ED plea, stating that there's nothing new since she was arrested, there are no new grounds. The application doesn't mention anything.
Meanwhile, the Court had refused to permit K Kavitha to address personally/orally and said she could give her submissions in written form.
Advocate Zoheb Hossain along with Naveen Kumar Matta and Simon Benjamin appeared for the Enforcement Directorate in the case while Advocates Nitesh Rana, Deepak Rana and Mohit Rao appeared for accused K Kavitha.
Recently, the same court had 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 the 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 which 100 crores were allegedly paid to Aam Aadmi Party in Kickbacks
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 to get favours in the Delhi Excise policy formulation and implementation. In exchange for 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 kickbacks from 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 generate profits or proceeds of crime from this entire conspiracy, stated ED.
To 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 January 24, 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 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 had 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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