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K Kavitha didn't give satisfactory answer regarding payment of kickbacks to AAP: CBI tells court

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday while seeking custodial interrogation of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha said that she did not give satisfactory answer regarding payment of kickbacks to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

BRS leader K Kavitha was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). She was arrested by CBI while in judicial custody in the ED case.

CBI remand application stated that "Ms. Kavitha Kalvakuntla was required to be arrested in the instant case to conduct her custodial interrogation for confronting her with the evidence and witnesses to unearth the larger conspiracy hatched among the accused/suspect persons regarding formulation and implementation of the Excise Policy, as well as to establish the money trail of ill-gotten money generated and to establish the role of other accused/suspect persons including public servants as well as to unearth the facts which are in her exclusive knowledge."

One of the companies under Aurbindo Group in July 2021 made a total payment of Rs 14 crore through bank account transaction, in which Rs 7 crore was paid on the first week of July 2021 and the rest Rs 7 crore was paid in mid November 2021, said CBI to Court while seeking custodial remand of K Kavitha.

It has been further revealed that in November-December 2021, K Kavitha asked Sarath Chandra Reddy to pay Rs 25 crores at the rate of Rs 5 crore per zone as decided earlier for the five retail zones allotted to him, as she had claimed that she herself had paid Rs 100 crores as upfront money on our behalf to Aam Aadmi Party through the accused Vijay Nair for getting favourable provisions in Excise Policy and also pursued the same through her associates Arun R Pillai and Abhishek Boinpally.

However, when Sarath Chandra Reddy showed his reluctance to pay the demanded money, K. Kavitha threatened Sarath Chandra Reddy to harm his business in Telengana and in Delhi under the Excise Policy, stated the remand application.

According to the Central Bureau Investigation, Sarath Chandra Reddy has also stated that when the Delhi Excise Policy was withdrawn on August 31, 2022, the accused Arun R Pillai, the associate of K Kavitha told him not to pay the outstanding of M/s Indospirits for his retail zones, amounting to approximately Rs 60 crores and the same were to be paid to K Kavitha for recoupment of upfront Rs 100 crores paid by her and that he (Arun R Pillai) would advise how to proceed with that money, however, subsequently, the investigation in Delhi Excise Policy matter started and thereafter, Arun R Pillai did not contact him in this regard.

On Wednesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation apprised the concerned court of Delhi that BRS leader K Kavitha has already been examined on April 6 in Tihar Jail in connection with excise policy case.

On April 5, 2024, the Delhi Court had allowed the CBI plea to examine K Kavitha during judicial custody in the Tihar Jail on any day of the coming week.

CBI through application, sought court permission to interrogate/quiz and record the statement of BRS Leader K Kavitha regarding WhatsApp chats recovered from Buchi Babu's phone and documents to a Land deal post which 100 crores were allegedly paid to Aam Aadmi Party in kickbacks.

The Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday sent Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha to judicial custody until April 23, 2024. She was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate recently in connection with the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case.

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) arrested K Kavitha MLC, Telangana Legislative Council, on March 15, 2024, in the case of the alleged liquor policy scam.

A search was also conducted at the residence of K Kavitha in Hyderabad on March 15. During the search proceedings, the ED officials were obstructed by the relatives and associates of K Kavitha, said ED through a statement.

The ED investigation revealed that K Kavitha, along with others, conspired with the top leaders of AAP, including Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, to get favours in the Delhi Excise policy formulation and implementation.

The ED has alleged that in exchange for these favours, she was involved in paying Rs. 100 crore to the leaders of AAP.

Through acts of corruption and conspiracy in the formulation and implementation of Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, a continuous stream of illegal funds in the form of kickbacks, from the wholesalers was generated for the AAP, as per the ED's allegation.

Further, K Kavitha and her associates were to recover the proceeds of crime paid in advance to AAP and to further generate profits/proceeds of crime from this entire conspiracy, stated ED.

ED has filed 1 prosecution complaint and 5 supplementary complaints in the case so far.

Further, out of the proceeds of crime generated, assets worth Rs. 128.79 crore have been traced so far and have been attached via provisional attachment orders on January 24 and July 3 in 2023. Both the attachment orders have been confirmed by the adjudicating authority in New Delhi.

The CBI inquiry was recommended based 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 said.

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, the probe agencies said.

As per the allegations, the Excise Department had decided to refund the earnest money deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19, the probe agency said and there was an alleged loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer.

 

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