Excise Policy scam: Delhi High Court dismisses BRS leader Kavitha’s bail pleas in two cases

Kavitha's lawyer had submitted that she is the lone woman among the 50 people accused in the alleged excise policy scam.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 01, 2024 | 7:23 PM Updated Jul 01, 2024 | 7:23 PM

Delhi HC dismisses Kavitha's plea in excise policy scam

The Delhi High Court on Monday, 1 July dismissed BRS leader K Kavitha’s bail pleas in two cases of corruption and money laundering linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, who had reserved the order on the two bail pleas of Kavitha on 28 May, rejected the petitions. A detailed order is awaited.

Kavitha had challenged the trial court’s 6 May order by which her bail applications in Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) corruption case as well as the ED’s money-laundering case were dismissed.

Kavitha’s lawyer submitted that of the 50 accused in the excise case, she is the lone woman and urged the court to consider granting her bail as law keeps women on a different pedestal.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposed Kavitha’s bail pleas, saying she is powerful enough to influence witnesses. Kavitha is in judicial custody in the two cases.

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ED and CBI’s case against Kavitha

The “scam” pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 that was later scrapped.

The ED arrested Kavitha from her Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad on 15 March, under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Her arrest brought renewed focus on the involvement of the so-called “South Group” in the Delhi excise police scam.

According to various chargesheets filed by the ED and the CBI, both probing irregularities, the “South Group” played an important role in the alleged scam.

According to the ED, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) former communication head Vijay Nair received kickbacks to the tune of ₹100 crore on behalf of AAP leaders from the aforementioned “South Group” – as termed in the statements of various persons recorded during the investigation – to allegedly manipulate the Delhi excise policy to benefit them.

The CBI arrested Kavitha on 11 April in the Tihar jail. A few  days earlier, CBI questioned the BRS leader after obtaining permission from a special court.

She 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.

(Edited by Neena with PTI inputs)

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