Delhi Excise Policy: SC to Hear BRS Leader Kavitha’s Plea Challenging Arrest on Mar 22

Kalvakuntla Kavitha

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear BRS leader Kalvakuntla Kavitha’s plea on Friday (March 22), challenging her arrest in a money laundering case related to irregularities in the Delhi excise policy. The bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna, MM Sundresh, and Bela M Trivedi will preside over the matter.

K Kavitha, represented by her advocate P Mohith Rao, lodged the plea with the Supreme Court on Monday, contesting her arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the money laundering case concerning irregularities in the Delhi excise policy. Kavitha, who was apprehended by an ED team on March 15, is currently under custodial interrogation until March 23, following a search operation at her residence in Hyderabad on the same day.

In her petition, K Kavitha also challenges the remand order, asserting that it does not comply with Article 141, which mandates that the law declared by the Supreme Court is binding on all courts within India’s territory. Additionally, she contests section 19(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

However, BRS leader K Kavitha withdrew her petition from the Supreme Court on Tuesday, challenging summons issued by the ED.

Earlier on Monday, the Enforcement Directorate alleged that K Kavitha, an MLC of the Telangana Legislative Council, conspired with top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), including Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, to receive favors in the formulation and execution of the Delhi excise policy. The ED further claimed that Kavitha was involved in transferring Rs 100 crore to AAP leaders in exchange for these favors.

This revelation by the ED came three days after Kavitha’s arrest in the alleged Delhi Liquor Policy Scam. During the search at her residence, ED officials reported obstruction from Kavitha’s relatives and associates.

The ED’s investigation unveiled that K Kavitha, along with others, allegedly colluded with AAP leaders for advantages in the Delhi Excise policy. The ED claimed that through corruption and conspiracy in the policy’s formulation and execution, illegal funds in the form of kickbacks from wholesalers were funneled to AAP.

To date, the ED has conducted searches at 245 locations across the country, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, and other places. Fifteen individuals, including Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, and Vijay Nair from AAP, have been arrested in the case. The ED has filed one prosecution complaint and five supplementary complaints in the case. Additionally, assets worth Rs 128.79 crore, generated from the proceeds of crime, have been traced and attached through provisional attachment orders confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority in New Delhi on January 24, 2023, and July 3, 2023, as claimed by the ED.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte