Law & Judiciary

    Delhi HC notice to CBI on BRS leader K Kavitha's plea challenging arrest

    The Hawk
    May16/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Kavitha alleges her arrest violates fundamental rights, and claims the charges lack evidence of cash transactions or money trails.

    K Kavitha

    New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice on Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha's plea seeking bail in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case related to the alleged liquor policy scam.
    The court has also sought the response of the CBI on her plea challenging CBI arrest and the trial court order remanding her to CBI custody. The bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma fixed the matter for May 24, 2024. On the same day, the hearing of K Kavitha's bail plea in the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) case is also fixed.
    K Kavitha, in her plea challenging her arrest in a CBI case, stated that the entire proceedings leading to the arrest and incarceration of her in the case are anathema to law and violative of the fundamental postulates on which the interplay of powers vested with the investigating agency as well as with the Court qua a person who is already languishing in custody in another (ED) case is concerned, thereby resulting in the violation of the petitioner's fundamental rights under Articles 21 and 22(1) & (2) of the Constitution, apart from such an action being not supported by any provision or procedure in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
    Last week, the Delhi HC issued notice to ED on Kavitha's bail plea moved by Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) Leader K Kavitha in the money laundering case pertaining to the scrapped excise policy of Delhi.

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    Recently, the ED filed a supplementary prosecution complaint (chargesheet) in the excise policy case in Rouse Avenue Court. The chargesheet was filed against BRS Leader K Kavitha and others, containing 224 pages (operative parts). This is the sixth supplementary chargesheet in the ED case.
    The plea moved by K Kavitha stated that she is the mother of two children, one of whom 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 into the scandal by the members of the ruling party at the Centre. 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 Kavitha in connection with CBI and ED cases related to the Delhi excise policy. K Kavitha was arrested by the ED on March 15, 2024 and by the CBI on April 11, 2024.
    Earlier, CBI, through a 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 and 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.