New Delhi: BRS leader K Kavitha on Thursday skipped the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons for appearance in connection with the Delhi excise policy money laundering case citing her pending plea before the Supreme Court where she has sought protection from arrest and quashing of summons in the case.
The Telangana MLC, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, sent her authorised representative (a BRS party office bearer) who handed over to the investigating officer of the case a six-page representation against her deposition along with her bank statement, personal and business details.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on March 24 the plea by Kavitha seeking protection from arrest and challenging the summons by the ED in this case. The 44-year-old politician was first questioned in this case on March 11 following which she was asked to depose again on March 16.
In the letter sent to the ED, 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.
Official sources had said on March 11 that during the nine hours she spent at the ED office that day, she was confronted with the statements made by Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, an arrested accused in the case who allegedly shares close ties with her, apart from those of few others involved in the case.
The BRS MLC’s statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED has so far arrested 12 people in the case, including former Delhi deputy chief minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia. The agency also recorded the fresh statement of Kavitha’s former auditor Butchibabu Gorantla on Wednesday in this case.
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.
The policy was subsequently scrapped and the Delhi lieutenant governor recommended a CBI probe, following which the ED registered a case under the PMLA.