After 10-hr ED grilling, Kavitha to return for Ugadi
DECCAN CHRONICLE | L. Venkat Ram Reddy
Hyderabad: Contrary to speculations on her imminent arrest in the Delhi liquor scam, BRS MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha walked out of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in New Delhi on Tuesday for the third time flashing a victory sign at her supporters waiting outside after facing a 10-hour questioning session by officials. However, there was no clarity on the date of her next appearance as the ED is yet to issue summons, it is learnt.
Kavitha is expected to arrive in Hyderabad on Wednesday morning along with ministers K.T.Rama Rao, T. Harish Rao, and Rajya Sabha member Joginapally Santosh Kumar by a special flight to celebrate Ugadi with Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and other family members at the Pragathi Bhavan.
Kavitha, who entered the ED office at 11.30 am, accompanied by her lawyer Soma Bharat Kumar, walked out at 9.40 pm and drove straight to her fathers’ official residence in Tughlak Road where she was greeted by scores of her supporters raising "Jai Kavithakka" slogans. Earlier, Kavitha arrived at the ED office about 11.15 am, accompanied by her husband D. Anil Kumar and lawyer Soma Bharat Kumar. They accompanied her until she arrived at the main gate of the ED office at 11.30 am.
Sources said that the ED questioning that started at 11.30 am continued till 9.30 pm with an hour lunch break and half-an-hour snacks break.
As Kavitha arrived at the ED office at 11 am, high-voltage drama reigned. Kavitha emerged from her car amid chants of "Jai Kavithakka" from her supporters and flashed two sealed covers carrying her used phones to refute the allegations made by the ED against her in November 2022 that she had destroyed her old mobile phones. Prior to her interrogation, Kavitha released a strongly-worded letter she sent to ED in which she lashed out at the Central agency for deliberately leaking false information to the people that she had damaged 10 phones, damaging her reputation.
There was also high voltage drama at the CM’s residence as well also at the ED office throughout the day where Section 144 was clamped. Heavy police force was deployed |amid mounting speculations of her imminent arrest.
At around 7 pm, Kavitha’s legal team members led by Soma Bharat Kumar and BRS leader G. Deviprasad arrived at the ED office and went inside the visitor’s room giving anxious moments to her supporters. However, they later clarified that they came there only to
submit some documents that were sought by the ED officials.
Sources said that most of the ED questioning on Tuesday revolved around the 10 old phones and IMEI numbers submitted by her to the ED on Tuesday.
ED officials reportedly pointed out few IMEI numbers submitted by Kavitha not matching with the IMEI numbers specified in the ED remand report. They reportedly posed questions on data
mismatch between the phones submitted by Kavitha and that the ED had retrieved earlier. Sources claimed that Kavitha was not confronted with other accused in the scam during the 10-hour questioning.
Kavitha was first summoned by the ED in Delhi liquor scam to appear on March 9. However, she asked the ED to defer questioning to a later date citing a one-day hunger strike announced by her on March 10 at Jantar Mantar in the national capital demanding that the BJP government at the Centre introduce and pass the Women's Reservation Bill in the ongoing Parliament session.
Following this, the ED issued fresh summons asking her to appear on March 11. She was grilled for nine hours on March 11. The ED again issued summons to Kavitha to appear on March 16, but skipped the hearing citing her pending petition in Supreme Court against the ED's summons till March 24. However, she had sent documents sought by the ED through her authorised representative Soma Bharat Kumar. In response, the ED again issued fresh summons to Kavitha asking her to appear before them on March 20. On March 20, the ED quizzed her for over ten hours for the second time. She walked out of the ED office after questioning as there was no arrest. However, the ED asked her to appear again on March 21 for the third time. But after questioning on Tuesday, the ED reportedly did not issue any summons for her fresh appearance.