SC issued notices to ED in Kavitha s petition challenging summons in liquor scam case

HYDERABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate to file a counter to the petition filed by BRS MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha, who had challenged the summons issued to her to come for questioning in the agency’s offices in the Delhi liquor scam case.

The bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia directed the ED to file the counter within six weeks, after which Kavitha should file her rejoinder within two weeks. The court said that it would decide the case based on the merits.

Kavitha had filed the petition before the SC in March, challenging the summons issued by the ED. She had asked how the ED could summon a woman for questioning outside of her place of residence. She argued that the provisions only allowed the ED to come to her place for questioning.

Similar petitions were filed by Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former Union minister P. Chidambaram, Rujira Banerjee, wife of Trinamul Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee, challenging the ED summons outside of their place.

The bench heard the three petitions together. Senior counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Kavitha requested the court to decide whether any woman can be called by the ED to its offices for questioning. He also said that summoning was not meant for recording of statement under Section 161.

Additional solicitor general S.A. Raju argued that the ED had the authority to question women by issuing notices in advance. He also submitted that the all three cases were involved with alleged money laundering.

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