Delhi liquor policy case: ED summons K Kavitha again today

ED summoned BRS MLC and Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha on Tuesday again in connection with the investigation into the Delhi liquor policy issue.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha on Tuesday again in connection with the investigation into the Delhi liquor policy issue, according to reports.

According to BRS sources, Kavitha was summoned to the agency’s office on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Kavitha appeared before the ED on Monday after the federal agency issued a new summons to the BRS leader on March 16 to join its continuing probe in the matter.

The federal agency issued the new summons after Kavitha declined to attend the ED questioning on Thursday, citing a pending Supreme Court case.

Kavitha did not come for interrogation, indicating to the investigation team that the case is still pending before the Supreme Court.

According to reports, Kavitha has delivered the materials requested by the investigation agency through her legal representation.

The ED had called her earlier this month to testify in the Delhi excise fraud on Thursday, saying that she was a crucial part of the south cartel.

The BRS leader had petitioned the Supreme Court for an emergency hearing, alleging that because she is a woman, she cannot be summoned to the ED office and that the probe agency’s agents must instead visit her.

On Wednesday the Supreme Court had agreed to hear her plea challenging the ED summons on March 24 but refused to grant her interim relief.

As per sources, Kavitha will be confronted with Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, who was arrested on March 6 night in the case.

In its investigation, ED has come to know that Pillai is one of the key persons in the alleged scam involving payments of huge kickbacks and the formation of the biggest cartel of the South Group.

South Group comprises Telangana MLC Kavitha, Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Group), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (MP, Ongole), his son Raghav Magunta, and others. The South Group was being represented by Pillai, Abhishek Boinpalli and Butchi Babu, the federal agency investigation has revealed.

Pillai along with his associates was coordinating with various persons to execute the political understanding between the South Group and a leader of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Pillai has been an accomplice and was involved in the kickbacks from the South Group and the recoupment of the same from the businesses in Delhi, ED investigation revealed.

The ED had earlier said that the South Group gave kickbacks of Rs 100 crore to AAP leaders.
Pillai is learnt to be a partner of 32.5 per cent in Indo Spirits, which had got an L1 licence. Indo Spirits is a partnership firm of Arun (32.5 per cent), Prem Rahul (32.5 per cent) and Indospirit Distribution Limited (35 per cent), wherein Arun and Prem Rahul represented the benami investments of Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and his son Raghava Magunta.

Pillai is an Indo Spirits partner. Pillai handled Kavitha’s interests in this partnership venture.
In December of last year, Kavitha, a member of the Telangana Legislative Council, was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the same matter.

The ED filed its first chargesheet in the matter last year. The agency stated that it has conducted approximately 200 search operations in this matter since filing a FIR in response to a CBI case that was lodged on the suggestion 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.

In October, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Delhi’s Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, in the case and arrested him later. The CBI too filed its first charge sheet in the case early this week.

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.