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Excise case: Delhi Court takes cognizance of ED chargesheet filed against K Kavitha, others

NEW DELHI: The Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday took cognizance of the Enforcement Directorate's supplementary prosecution complaint (chargesheet) filed against BRS leader K Kavitha and others in connection with the excise policy money laundering case.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja took cognizance of the said chargesheet and issued a production warrant for K Kavitha on June 3, 2024.

Meanwhile Court also took cognizance against other accused mentioning their names.

Recently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a supplementary prosecution complaint (chargesheet) in the Excise Policy money laundering case in Rouse Avenue Court.

The chargesheet was filed against BRS Leader K Kavitha and other accused namely Chanpreet Singh, Damodar, Prince Singh and Arvind Kumar.

On May 27, the Delhi High Court reserved the order bail plea moved by K Kavitha in both ED and CBI cases about the scrapped Excise policy of Delhi.

The plea moved by K Kavitha stated that she is a mother of two children, one of whom is a minor and is presently undergoing medical supervision. Kavitha in her fresh bail plea alleged that there have been attempts to drag her in the scandal by the members of the ruling party at the centre.

She through bail plea submitted that the entire case of the Enforcement Directorate hinged upon statements made by the approver, witnesses or co-accused under Section 50 of the PMLA. The Prosecution Complaints do not put forth a single document that corroborates the statements. There is not a single piece of evidence that points to the guilt of the applicant.

She further stated that the arrest of the applicant is illegal as section 19 of PMLA has not been complied with.

Neither has any corroboration to the allegation of the actual cash transaction nor any money trail is forthcoming, therefore, the satisfaction of guilt as expressed in his arrest order is merely a sham and a pretence, she stated.

On May 6, the Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi dismissed the bail petitions moved by BRS leader K Kavitha in connection with CBI and ED cases related to the Excise Policy case.

K Kavitha was arrested by the ED on March 15, 2024, and by the CBI on April 11, 2024.

Earlier, CBI through remand application stated that "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 the 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."

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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