Delhi liquor scam: BRS MLC Kavitha’s name mentioned again in 4th ED supplementary charge sheet against Sisodia

ED informed the court that it questioned 51 people in connection with the case, details of which are mentioned in the charge sheet.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 30, 2023 | 9:49 PMUpdatedMay 30, 2023 | 9:49 PM

The Enforcement Directorate conducted raids at several corporate hospitals and medical colleges in Telangana. (Creative Commons)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is investigating the Delhi liquor scam, has once again referred to BRS MLC K Kavitha in the fourth supplementary charge sheet against former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, filed at the Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi.

Her name appeared several times in the charge sheet.

The chargesheet specifically mentioned the charges related to Sisodia, apart from referring to Kavitha for the same aspects that were raised in the previous charge sheets.

The ED informed the court that it questioned 51 people in connection with the case and added that all the details of those who were questioned were mentioned in the charge sheet.

Also Read: HC dismisses Sisodia’s bail plea; terms allegations ‘very serious’

Kavitha’s name in 4th charge sheet  

Sources said that the ED mentioned Kavitha’s name some 53 times and her call data details were also mentioned in the charge sheet, which added that the so-called “South Group” — comprising Kavitha, YSRCP MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, his son Magunta Raghava Reddy, and others — played a crucial role in drafting the Delhi liquor policy.

It is alleged that Aam Admi Party (AAP) media in-charge Vijay Nair, Kavitha, and others knew about the policy even before it was approved by the Delhi government.

Nair allegedly received ₹100 crore in kickbacks from the South Group for framing the policy favourable to them.

Kavitha’s representatives Arun Ramachandra Pillai, Abhishek Boinpally, and her former chartered accountant Butchibabu Gorantla allegedly assisted her. Butchibabu, who was arrested by the CBI in the scam, later turned approver in the case.

He was the second person to become an approver in the case after businessman Dinesh Arora. Butchibabu allegedly acted as a representative on behalf of a politician from Telangana in the South Group.

Also Read: Kavitha’s husband figures in ED’s 3rd supplementary chargesheet

Background into the case

The liquor scam case was registered on 17 August, 2022, against Sisodia, who was the then-excise minister of the Department of Excise Entertainment & Luxury Tax, and 14 others.

The investigation looked into the alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy for the year 2021-22, and extending post-tender benefits to private parties.

Searches were also conducted on the premises of the accused at several locations including in Delhi, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bengaluru, and so on., which led to the recovery of incriminating documents/articles and digital records.

During the investigation, Manish Sisodia and a few others were arrested.

Also Read: Kavitha’s role in Delhi liquor scam has rattled KCR, BRS: Tarun Chugh

ED has grilled Kavitha thrice

The ED summoned K Kavitha to appear before it in New Delhi on 9 March. However, she appeared before it on 11 March citing some inconveniences.

On 11 March, the CBI grilled Kavitha, amid protests in Hyderabad and Delhi, a day after she held a massive protest along with Opposition parties demanding early passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill.

On 20 March, ED sleuths grilled Kavitha for close to 10 hours.

They are said to have asked her questions about her alleged involvement in the scam and the ₹100 crore in kickbacks paid to the AAP media in-charge and Sisodia’s representative Vijay Nair, and how she was associated with the company IndoSpirits of Sameer Mahendru.

She was grilled for the third time, also for almost 10 hours, on 21 March.

According to sources, the ED officials examined the mobile phones that Kavitha submitted to them, saying that they were the ones that she had been using.

She submitted the phones to nix the officials’ claims that she had obliterated the data on 10 mobile phones she used to cover her tracks in the case.