Kavitha involved in proceeds of crime to tune of Rs 292 cr: ED to Delhi court

A Delhi court on Saturday extended Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K. Kavitha’s Enforcement Directorate custody till March 26 in connection with the money laundering case related to the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam.

The accused was produced before Special Judge Kaweri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Court, who pronounced the order after hearing arguments from both sides at length.

The probe agency has sought five days remand of the accused, and on the other hand, counsel for Kavitha Advocate Nitesh Rana said that a bail application has been filed.

The court had sent Kavitha, who is the daughter of party President and former Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, to seven days ED remand on March 16, and it expired on Saturday.

The agency had arrested Kavitha on March 15 after searches at her residence in Hyderabad.

Special Counsel for ED Zoheb Hossain argued that Kavitha has conspired with other people and is actively involved in the payment of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore.

He claimed that she is involved in establishing the money laundering ecosystem i.e. M/s Indo Spirits through her proxy which generated proceeds of crime of Rs 192.8 crore.

“By such acts, Kavitha is involved in various processes and activities relating to Proceeds of Crime (POC) to the tune of at least Rs 292.8 crore,” the ED alleged.

Hossain submitted that even after giving multiple opportunities to cooperate in the investigation and recording of statements, Kavitha has not given true and complete disclosure.

“…she is giving evasive reply during the custodial interrogation,” he said.

During the ED custody period, various other persons/co-accused statements have been confronted with her, the agency told the court.

Further, the Directorate of Forensic Science report dated May 17, 2023, reflected the delegation/formatting of mobile data during the ED probe period.

“Data in her mobile phone has been extracted and is being analysed,” ED said.

“Some of the details of the business and profession of her nephew Sh. Meka Sri Sharan was also sought during the course of the statement. In response to this, she simply said ‘I am not aware’.”

Hossain told the court that it was revealed during the investigation in the last seven days that Meka Saran is involved in the transfer/utilisation of POC from Indo Spirits.

“Since, he is in possession of information relevant for investigation in the case and he is not co-operating with the investigation, the search is being conducted at his premises under Section 17 of PMLA 2002 on 23.03.2024,” he told the court.

Earlier, Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhary appeared for the BRS leader and accused the ED of flouting the Supreme Court’s directions, submitting that Kavitha’s arrest is a blatant abuse of power and authority, and disregards the apex court’s September 2023 order.

In response, the ED had said that it hasn’t made any statement in any court, including the Supreme Court, that no coercive action will be taken against Kavitha, and contended that there is enough evidence and statements of witnesses against the arrested lawmaker in the matter.

The agency had also accused the BRS leader of destroying evidence and said that it has summoned her husband, Anil Kumar, and house help for March 18 for the extraction of digital data.

“We are also summoning two other persons who gave statements against her to confront her,” the ED had said.

Kavitha has not appeared before the agency since October last year despite summons. Kavitha had also approached the Supreme Court, challenging the summoning of a woman by the ED to its office.

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