Delhi excise policy case: BRS leader Kavitha appears before ED

As preventive measures, the Delhi police imposed section 144 prohibiting mobs at the ED office

HYDERABAD: The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday questioned BRS MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha for nine hours about the Delhi liquor scam on the first day. She was asked to appear again for questioning on March 16.

During the session lasting from 11 am to 8 pm, officials recorded Kavitha’s statements in connection with her alleged role in the case. Five officials, including a joint director, a woman deputy director and three assistant directors, were part of the team that questioned her.

In the morning, Kavitha, 44, appeared at the ED office alone and her photograph and signature were taken and formalities completed before she was taken for questioning. A video clip of Kavitha sitting at the entrance of the ED office while providing details was widely shared.

The ED has stated that South Group, comprising Aurobindo Pharma director P. Sarath Chandra Reddy, auditor G. Buchi Babu, businessman Abhishek Boinapalli and K. Kavitha played a key role in the Delhi liquor scam, by allegedly formulating an excise policy in its favour. The so-called ‘South Group,’ which also includes AP YSRC MP Magunta Sambasiva Reddy and his son Raghava Reddy, possessed nine retail business zones.

Kavitha's statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

Sources said she was confronted with statements made by Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, an arrested accused who allegedly shares close ties with Kavitha. He will be produced on court on Monday.

Pillai, an alleged frontman of the South Group, has moved a court accusing the ED of securing his statement by coercion.

Kavitha has previously denied any wrongdoing, and has alleged that she was named as part of a conspiracy by the BJP-led government at the Centre.

Armed with documents and statements of the other accused, Kavitha was asked about the irregularities and her role in the incident from 11.30 am to 1.45 pm. Her statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), sources said.

After a lunch break — in which Kavitha preferred a rice-based meal — the questioning resumed around 3 pm.

ED officials asked her to produce her mobile phone, following which Kavitha’s driver brought the phone from her car. The ED seized it for investigation.

Around 7 pm, the Delhi police deployed a large contingent of police, asking mediapersons and BRS leaders and activists to vacate the entrance gate of the ED office.

Around 8 pm, Kavita exited the office and proceeded to her father's residence on Tughlak Road in Delhi about 1.5 km away.

Later, ministers K.T. Rama Rao and Harish Rao accompanied Kavitha to the airport and returned to Hyderabad.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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