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Excise Policy case: Delhi HC notice to ED on BRS leader K Kavitha's bail plea

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate on a bail plea moved by Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) Leader K Kavitha in the money laundering case about the scrapped Excise policy of Delhi.
K Kavitha has also moved bail plea in Delhi High Court in CBI case, which is most likely to come for a hearing on Monday. Recently Trial Court had refused to grant bail to her in both cases.
The bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma fixed May 24, 2024, for detailed arguements in the matter.
The plea moved by K Kavitha stated that she is a mother of two children one of which is a minor presently under shock and is undergoing medical supervision. Kavitha in her fresh bail plea alleges that there have been attempts to drag her in the scandal by the members of the ruling party at the Centre.
She through bail plea submitted that the entire case of the Enforcement Directorate hinges upon statements made by the approver, witnesses or co-accused under Section 50 of the PMLA. The Prosecution Complaints do not put forth a single document that corroborates the statements. There is not a single piece of evidence that points to the guilt of the Applicant.
She further stated that as the arrest of the Applicant is illegal as section 19 of PMLA has not been complied with.
Neither has any corroboration to the allegation of the actual cash transaction nor any money trail is forthcoming, therefore, the satisfaction of guilt as expressed in his Arrest Order is merely a sham and a pretence, she stated.
On May 6, The Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi dismissed the bail petitions moved by Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha in connection with CBI and ED cases related to the Excise Policy case.
Through plea K Kavitha earlier alleged that the ruling party in the Centre is using investigative agencies to publicly connect the Petitioner to the Delhi Excise Policy so that further coercive actions can be taken against her. The Investigating Agencies are well aware that there is no substance in the allegation of the Petitioner's involvement in the alleged scam. The intention behind the purported investigation against the Petitioner is not to ascertain her involvement in the alleged scam, since it is painfully clear that none exists.
The political masterminds are well aware that if the Petitioner can be connected to the alleged scam, it will bring her, and by logical implication, her father, the erstwhile Chief Minister of Telangana, into disrepute. The political mileage gained from such actions can be used in the general elections scheduled for 2024. This is the sole and singular motive of the purported investigation. This is political propaganda at its shameful lowest, even by the not-so-high standards in Indian politics, stated bail plea.
BRS leader K Kavitha was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 15, 2024 and by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on April 11, 2024.
Earlier, CBI through remand application stated that "Kavitha Kalvakuntla was required to be arrested in the instant case to conduct her custodial interrogation for confronting her with the evidence and witnesses to unearth the larger conspiracy hatched among the accused, suspect persons regarding the formulation and implementation of the Excise Policy, as well as to establish the money trail of ill-gotten money generated and to establish the role of other accused/suspect persons, including public servants, as well as to unearth the facts which are in her exclusive knowledge."
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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