Delhi liquor scam: CBI grills Kavitha for over 7 hours

CBI reportedly questioned Kavitha about hawala transactions and her alleged association with Delhi liquor policy scam accused

HYDERABAD: A six-member Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team, including a woman officer, questioned K. Kavitha, TRS MLC and daughter of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, for more than seven hours on Sunday at her palatial bungalow at Banjara Hills in connection with her alleged involvement in the Delhi liquor scam.

The CBI investigators showed up at her residence at around 11 am on Sunday to record her statement in the presence of her legal counsel, and reportedly questioned her about hawala transactions and her alleged association with the accused in the liquor scam.

In a strategic move, Kavitha gave a call to party workers to not come to her residence in the morning, apparently to avoid the accusation that she was obstructing the CBI’s questioning. That charge could have had serious ramifications in the subsequent probe.

Security was strengthened near Kavitha's residence on Banjara Hills Road No. 14, with police erecting barricades and the TRS top leadership also advising party workers not to congregate at the residence needlessly.

However, the TRS leaders erected flexis at Kavitha's residence to show their support for the MLC.

According to sources, the CBI officials had arrived from New Delhi on Saturday night and went to Kavitha's house on Sunday armed with files, records, and other evidence related to the liquor scam case.

Before the CBI officers arrived, Kavitha's legal team had shown up at her residence. During the more than seven hours of questioning, the CBI, which had issued a notice to Kavitha under CrPC Section 160 on December 2, tried to obtain as much information as possible about the alleged corruption in New Delhi's now-scrapped excise policy.

After finishing recording the statements, the CBI officials left Kavitha's residence at about 6.30 pm. Hundreds of TRS leaders and cadre squatted near Kavitha's residence and began chanting slogans in support of the MLA and the party minutes after the CBI recorded her statements and left.

Kavitha emerged from her residence and waved to the crowd that had gathered there. She then went to the CM’s camp office, Pragathi Bhavan, to meet with her father. After a 45-minute meeting, Kavitha returned to her residence.

On the question of how the CBI had questioned Kavitha when the government had withdrawn consent for the central agency to operate in the state without permission from the state government, it was stated that as government order, the agency must take permission from the state government for registering cases in state jurisdiction.

As the Delhi liquor scam case was registered in Delhi, the agency had the right to record statements of witnesses, accused or suspects in any case in Telangana. The agency may change or add accused names based on the investigation reports and the agency take a decision on further investigation, it was stated.

On December 2, the CBI had issued a notice to the MLC, asking her to join the investigation on December 6. However, on December 3, Kavitha wrote back to the CBI, seeking copies of the complaint and FIR copies.

Later, Kavitha had written to the investigation agency requesting deferment of questioning from December 6 to any time between December 11 and 15 (except December 13) due to her schedule.

The central investigating agency then said its officials would visit her residence at 11 am on December 11 to record her statements.

The CBI had served notices on Kavita after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials named her in the remand report of another liquor scam accused, Amit Arora.

One of the accused, Vijay Nair, received Rs 100 crore in kickbacks from the ‘South Group’, which it was alleged was controlled by Kavitha, Maguntna Srinivasulu Reddy and others in exchange for granting liquor licences in Delhi, according to the ED’s remand report.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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