Supreme Court refuses to consider bail plea of BRS MLC K Kavitha; directs her to approach trial court

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, MM Sundresh and Bela M Trivedi asked Kavitha to approach the trial court.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Mar 22, 2024 | 11:52 AMUpdatedMar 22, 2024 | 12:21 PM

Kavitha moves Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on Friday, 22 March, refused to grant bail to BRS MLC K Kavitha, who has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi excise policy scam case.

A division bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, MM Sundresh and Bela M Trivedi asked Kavitha — daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao — to approach the trial court, saying it is a practice that the apex court is following and cannot bypass the protocol.

The bench said that it would club Kavitha’s petition with those filed for the reconsideration of Vijay Madanlal Chaudhury and others vs Union of India judgement. The judgement upheld the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The court also said it is issuing notice to the ED and seeking its response in six weeks.

“The petition challenging the provisions will come up with the pending matters,” the bench told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Kavitha.

Related: As Kavitha moves SC against arrest, ED says she conspired with Kejriwal

‘Confessions of approvers do not stand’

Sibal requested the division bench to hear the petition and take a decision on it.

He said he would not mind even if it decided against his plea rather than asking her to approach the high court or the trial court. He contended that his client was arrested based on the confessions of the approvers in the case and that they could not constitute evidence.

Sibal recalled what had happened to Hemant Soren in the trial court and that his client may not be asked to go to the trial court. Soren was sent to the ED custody in a PMLA case.

The bench then made it clear that it could not set aside established procedures to take up his client’s petition because she was a political person. It added that it was not going into the merit of the case at the moment.

The petitions for reconsideration of the Vijay Madanlal judgement are posted for July implying that Kavitha’s petition would be heard only then.

On Thursday evening, during the permitted visiting time, Kavitha’s family members — her mother Shobha and her brother KT Rama Rao — met her at the ED office.

Kavitha has moved the top court challenging her arrest by the ED in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

Kavitha was arrested on 15 March and remanded to the ED’s custody till 23 March in the case.

(With PTI inputs)