BRS MLC Kavitha Skips ED Summons In Delhi Excise Policy Case

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BRS leader Kavitha K, a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC), did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday for further questioning in connection with a money-laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy, news agency PTI reported citing officials.

According to the report, the 45-year-old daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao reportedly conveyed her decision to ignore the ED summons through an email to the investigating officer.

Nitesh Rana, her lawyer, stated on Monday, “There is a Supreme Court order that has said that the ED cannot summon Kavitha in this case,” as reported by PTI. However, ED sources counter this claim, asserting that the temporary relief obtained by the BRS leader from the apex court last year is no longer valid, the report added. 

The federal agency is considering issuing a fresh summons, and a decision on this matter is expected soon.

Kavitha K, also known as Kavitha Kalvakuntla, was questioned three times last year in connection with the case, with the ED recording her statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC has maintained her innocence, accusing the BJP-led Centre of using the ED as a tool to gain a “backdoor entry” into Telangana.

The ED recently issued a fourth summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in connection with the same case, with a scheduled appearance date on January 18.

During Kavitha’s previous deposition before the ED, she was reportedly confronted with statements made by Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, an accused in the case, who allegedly had close ties with her. Pillai, according to the ED, represented the “South Group,” a liquor cartel linked to Kavitha, paying kickbacks of about Rs 100 crore to the AAP to gain a larger share of the retail liquor market in Delhi under the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2020-21.

The “South Group,” as per the ED, includes Sarath Reddy (former promoter of Aurobindo Pharma), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (YSR Congress MP from the Ongole Lok Sabha seat in Andhra Pradesh), his son Raghav Magunta, Kavitha, and others.

The ED has also alleged in Pillai’s remand papers that he “represented the benami investments” of Kavitha in the case.

Kavitha had been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the case, with the ED money laundering case filed based on the CBI FIR.

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