Kavitha summoned by ED in Delhi excise policy scam ahead of Women’s Reservation Bill dharna

K Kavitha, the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and a BRS MLC, has confirmed that she will be appearing before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 11 in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam. Kavitha was summoned by the ED as part of their ongoing investigation into the liquor scam. She made the announcement in a late-night tweet on Wednesday, stating that she would be appearing before the probe agency in New Delhi on the aforementioned date.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, to confront her with Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, who was arrested by the ED on Monday. Pillai is believed to be a frontman of the “south group” involved in the Delhi excise policy scam.

During the confrontation, Kavitha will have her statement recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Arun Ramchandran Pillai, who was arrested by the ED on Monday and is in their custody, allegedly represented the “south group”, a liquor cartel linked to Kavitha and others.

Although Kavitha has promised full cooperation with the investigation, she will seek legal advice regarding the date of her deposition as she plans to hold a dharna in Delhi on March 10 in support of the Women’s Reservation Bill.

In a tweet, Kavitha has linked her summon by the ED to her upcoming dharna for the Women’s Reservation Bill.

“Ahead of our March 10 dharna along with the opposition parties and women organisations demanding the Women’s Reservation Bill at Jantar Mantar, I have been summoned by the ED on March 9th,” she wrote.

Despite the summons, Kavitha stated that “these tactics of intimidation” will not deter the fight of her father and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, and the BRS.

The ED currently has Pillai’s custody till March 12, and he is expected to appear before a Delhi court on March 13.

Kavitha has not yet confirmed the date of her deposition and said that she will seek legal advice.

According to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the “south group” was responsible for the liquor scam in Delhi and included individuals such as Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Pharma), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (YSR Congress MP from Ongole Lok Sabha seat), Kavitha, and others. In addition, Pillai allegedly represented Kavitha’s benami investments in this case, as stated in his remand papers.

Kavitha, a BRS leader, has been previously questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with this case. It is alleged that the excise policy of the Delhi government for 2021-22 to grant licenses to liquor traders allowed for cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes. This charge has been strongly denied by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Following the policy’s revocation and a recommendation for a CBI investigation by the Delhi Lt Governor, the ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

“…I have been summoned by ED to appear on March 9th in Delhi. As a law-abiding citizen, I’ll fully cooperate with investigation agencies. However, due to the Dharna & prefixed appointments, I’ll see legal opinions on the date of attending it,” said BRS MLC Kavitha.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has made another arrest in connection to the Delhi Excise Policy scam.

Butchibabu Gorantla, a Hyderabad-based Chartered Accountant and former auditor of Kavitha, has been taken into custody for his alleged involvement in the formulation and implementation of the policy.

According to the CBI, Gorantla’s actions resulted in wrongful gain to wholesale and retail licensees and their beneficial owners based in Hyderabad. The arrest follows a similar one made earlier in the case.

Learn more about the Delhi liquor policy case:

The Delhi government claims that the policy was designed to increase revenue, eliminate the sale of counterfeit or untaxed liquor in Delhi, and improve the overall customer experience. The investigation began after the Chief Secretary of Delhi submitted a report to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recommending a CBI investigation into the matter.

Subsequently, the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police’s Assistant Commissioner’s office issued a notice to Delhi’s Excise Commissioner asking for all documents relating to the award of liquor licenses under the new excise policy.

Former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, was also arrested in connection with the alleged excise policy scam. Last year, several raids were conducted at various locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region, including the residences of Sisodia and four public servants.

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