Excise scam: Delhi court to consider ED charge sheet against K Kavitha

The ED arrested BRS leader Kavitha from her Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad on 15 March in the Delhi excise scam case.


Published May 13, 2024 | 10:05 PMUpdatedMay 13, 2024 | 10:05 PM

ED chargesheet on BRS leader Kavitha

A Delhi court is likely to consider on Tuesday, 14 May a fresh charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case naming BRS leader K Kavitha and four others as accused.

Special Judge for ED and CBI cases, Kaveri Baweja, who was likely to take up the charge sheet for cognisance on Monday, adjourned the matter for May 14.

On 10 May, the ED filed the nearly 200-page prosecution complaint (chargesheet) along with annexures under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Kavitha, an MLC of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) party, three employees of a company that handled AAP’s Goa campaign (Chariot Productions Media Pvt Ltd) – Damodar Sharma, Prince Kumar and Chanpreet Singh – and a former employee of India Ahead news channel Arvind Singh have been named as accused in the latest charge sheet, sources said.

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The federal agency had arrested 46-year-old Kavitha, the daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, from her Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad on March 15.

Chanpreet was arrested on April 15 and it was alleged by the agency that he “managed” cash funds for AAP’s 2022 Goa assembly campaign. The three Chariot Productions employees too had allegedly played a role in the movement and handling of “bribe” funds paid by the ‘South Group’ through ‘Angadiyas’ and hawala route for the party’s Goa campaign.

Arvind Singh, the commercial head and production controller of India Ahead, was arrested by the CBI in this case in May last year for the alleged transfer of funds that have been called ‘kickbacks’ of this scam.

This is the seventh charge sheet filed by the ED in this case in which it has arrested 18 people so far, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was given interim bail by the Supreme Court on 10 May.

The ED has alleged that Kavitha was a key member of the ‘South Group’ that has been accused of paying the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged kickbacks of Rs 100 crore in return for a big share of liquor licences in the national capital, as part of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22.

The agency earlier said Kavitha was “one of the kingpins, a key conspirator and beneficiary of the Delhi excise policy scam”.

The excise case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities. Subsequently, the ED filed its money laundering case on August 22, 2022, taking cognisance of the CBI FIR that was lodged on August 17, 2022.

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