New Delhi’March 16 (PMI) In a dramatic turn of events, K Kavitha, Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader and daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has decided not to appear before the Enforcement Directorate today. She sent BRS general secretary Soma Bharath Kumar to the ED office to inform them about her decision. The ED issued fresh summons to K Kavitha to appear in person on March 20.
In the letter sent to the ED, Ms Kavitha said that as the summons explicitly do not require her to appear in person, she was sending her “authorised representative.” “I humbly beseech your good self that the proceedings before the Supreme Court being sacred and sacrosanct, the outcome thereof must be awaited before any further proceedings take place with respect to the subject summons,” she wrote.
“I being a woman and protected by the postulates of law, may not be called to the office of Directorate and that I was always willing and ready to appear through audio/video mode and had also invited the officers at my residence which is as per the mandate of law. However, your good self has denied my request,” she pointed out in the letter. The ED had denied her request, saying “the confrontation with the person in ED custody is required to be done physically/in person.”
Ms Kavitha’s lawyer had sought an urgent hearing, claiming her being called to the ED office is “completely against the law”. She hasn’t been named as an accused by either the CBI or the ED.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha had agreed to hear her request on March 24.
Her party, BRS, today put up a massive show of strength in Delhi. BRS ministers and top leaders have flown to the national capital in solidarity with K Kavitha, one of the party’s most visible faces.
Ms Kavitha was questioned for hours by the Enforcement Directorate in the same case on March 11 as well. She was summoned for the third time today.
44 year-old Ms Kavitha has also challenged the seizure of her phone.
K Kavitha has alleged a political conspiracy behind the ED summons. Her party leaders have also said that the probe agency has become an extended arm of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The BRS leader has alleged that she was summoned by the probe agency on the basis of statements made under threat and coercion.
Hyderabad-based liquor businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, who was arrested in connection with the liquor policy case on Monday night, and Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Butchibabu Gorantla, Ms Kavitha’s former auditor, were also questioned in the case yesterday. The investigators have linked Ms Kavitha with both of them, calling them part of the “south group”.
The ED has so far arrested 12 people in the case, including former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who is accused of favouring a “south group” while framing the Delhi excise policy. His bail request in the CBI case is scheduled to be heard in a special court on March 21.
The BJP has been targeting BRS on allegations of corruption. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have repeatedly targetted KCR for dynasty politics and corruption
Action against the BR’s leader comes at a time when the party plans to go national, showcasing the ‘Telangana model’ to the country.
The BRS MLC’s statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
It is alleged that the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP.
Post a commentThe policy was subsequently scrapped and the Delhi lieutenant governor recommended a CBI probe, following which the ED registered a case under the PMLA.