CBI arrests BRS MLC K Kavitha in corruption case linked to Delhi liquor scam

CBI officials had recently questioned Kavitha inside the prison after obtaining permission from a special court.


Published Apr 11, 2024 | 3:39 PMUpdatedApr 11, 2024 | 6:00 PM

K Kavitha

The CBI arrested BRS MLC K Kavitha on Thursday, 11 April, in connection with a corruption case linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, officials said.

Kavitha(46), the daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was held in Tihar jail where she was lodged after her arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case linked to the excise “scam” on 15 March, they said.

The CBI had questioned Kavitha inside the prison on Saturday after obtaining permission from a special court.

The BRS leader was questioned on WhatsApp chats recovered from co-accused Butchibabu’s phone and documents related to a land deal after which ₹100 crore was allegedly paid to Delhi’s ruling AAP in kickbacks to swing the now-scrapped excise policy in favour of a liquor lobby.

Also Read: Kavitha’s judicial custody extended; CBI questions her in Tihar

The arrest

The CBI arrested Kavitha in jail number 6 of Tihar prison around 12 noon on Thursday under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 477-A (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 7 (offence relating to public servant being bribed) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the officials said.

While Kavitha will remain in Tihar jail on Thursday, the agency is likely to produce her before a court on Friday to seek her remand.

If the CBI gets her remand, Kavitha will be moved to a lockup at the agency headquarters where she will be questioned by officers of the Anti-Corruption Branch, which is probing the case, the officials said.

The ED had arrested Kavitha from her Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad.

It alleged that one of the accused, Vijay Nair, received kickbacks to the tune of at least ₹100 crore from a group called South Group (controlled by Sarath Reddy, Kavitha, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy) on behalf of AAP leaders.

Also Read: BRS MLC K Kavitha and ‘South Group’ in the Delhi liquor policy case

CBI charge sheets

The CBI, which has so far filed three charge sheets against a number of accused, including former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, has alleged that kickbacks worth around Rs 90-100 crore were paid in advance to some AAP leaders and public servants by some people in the liquor business from south India through Nair and co-accused Abhishek Boinpally and Dinesh Arora.

The agency has alleged that these kickbacks were subsequently returned to them out of the profit margins of wholesalers holding L-1 licenses through different modes, like issuance of excess credit notes, bank transfers and outstanding amounts left in accounts of companies controlled by some conspirators from the “South lobby”.

The CBI has also alleged that a cartel was formed between three components of the said policy — liquor manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

All the conspirators allegedly played active roles in achieving the illegal objectives of the said criminal conspiracy. It resulted in huge losses to the exchequer and undue pecuniary benefits to the public servants and other accused involved in the conspiracy, the agency has claimed.

During the probe, the CBI found WhatsApp chats and records of hawala operators, which showed that an arrested executive of a private channel was allegedly instrumental in hawala transfers of ₹17 crore between June 2021 and January 2022 to Chariot Media, which was handling the outdoor advertisement campaign for the AAP during the 2022 Goa assembly elections, the officials said.

The Goa assembly polls were held on 14 February, 2022.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)