Excise policy case: Already questioned K. Kavitha in jail, CBI tells Delhi court

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed a Delhi court on Wednesday that Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K. Kavitha has already been examined in Tihar Jail on April 6 in connection with a money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

On Tuesday, Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Court extended Kavitha’s judicial custody till April 23 in a case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Last week, she had moved the court opposing the CBI’s plea seeking to question and record her statements in jail, urging the court to recall its order. Notably, the court on April 5 allowed the CBI to question Kavitha in Tihar Jail.

The central probe agency had sought time to reply to Kavitha’s plea. On April 6, Kavitha’s counsel Nitesh Rana had told the court that the probe agency thwarted the due process of law by filing the plea “behind her back”.

“I have grave apprehension that the CBI may not have divulged the facts to obtain a favourable order from the court,” Rana told the court, as he urged it to keep the order in abeyance until Kavitha’s side is heard.

On Wednesday, the CBI counsel apprised Baweja that the agency is not filing any reply in the matter.

“We have already examined her on April 6,” the probe agency’s counsel said.

Noting the submissions, Special Judge Baweja adjourned the matter to April 26 for arguments on Kavitha’s application opposing the court’s order allowing CBI to question her in jail.

However, Kavitha’s counsel Rana and Deepak Nagar said they would like to argue the application.

The ED had arrested Kavitha, the daughter of BRS President and former Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, on March 15 after conducting searches at her residence in Hyderabad.

Kavitha’s plea stated that it is extremely disappointing and unfortunate that an application has been moved by the CBI for purported examination of the applicant while still in custody without serving a copy either upon her or her counsel.

“Such a practice is unknown to the basic tenets of criminal jurisprudence and thus cannot be sustained in the eyes of law,” it was stated.

On the other hand, the CBI had sought the court’s permission to interrogate and record Kavitha’s statements regarding the WhatsApp chats recovered from Buchi Babu’s phone and the documents of a land deal in which Rs 100 crore was allegedly paid to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in kickbacks.

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The special counsel for the ED, Zoheb Hossain, had earlier told the court that Kavitha conspired with other people and was actively involved in the payment of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore.

Hossain had claimed that she was involved in establishing the money laundering ecosystem, i.e., M/s Indo Spirits, through her proxy, which generated proceeds of crime worth Rs 192.8 crore. (IANS)

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