Excise 'scam': HC says BRS leader Kavitha one of main conspirators, denies bail

BRS leader K Kavitha was prima facie one of the main plotters of the criminal conspiracy behind the formulation and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, the Delhi H C has said while denying bail to her in two cases of corruption and money laundering linked to the alleged liquor scam.
BRS leader K Kavitha
BRS leader K Kavitha

New Delhi | BRS leader K Kavitha was prima facie one of the main plotters of the criminal conspiracy behind the formulation and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, the Delhi High Court has said while denying bail to her in two cases of corruption and money laundering linked to the alleged liquor scam.

The high court, which perused the material collected by the investigating agencies, said Kavitha was prima facie involved in the payment of kickbacks in various processes and activities relating to proceeds of crime and in the commission of the offence of money laundering.

The high court said no case for grant of regular bail was made for now as the investigation is at a crucial stage. It rejected her plea for relief on ground of being a woman, saying as a well-educated person and a former MP, she cannot be equated with a vulnerable female and the court cannot lose sight of the "serious allegations" against her.

“This court is of the opinion that K Kavitha was prima facie one of the main conspirators in the criminal conspiracy hatched in relation to formulation and implementation of Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22,” Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said in an order which was passed on Monday and uploaded late last evening.

While dealing with Kavitha’s submission that she, being a woman, be released on bail as she is entitled to the benefit of proviso of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the court said she cannot be equated with a vulnerable woman.

“Applicant (Kavitha) is an accomplished and well-educated woman. As mentioned in the contents of the application itself, applicant K Kavitha is a member of the Telangana Legislative Council from the Nizamabad Local Bodies Constituency and has held significant political positions, including Member of Parliament (MP) for Nizamabad formerly,” it noted.

The high court further said, “It is heartening to note that applicant K Kavitha is a highly qualified and well-accomplished person, having made significant contributions to politics and social work as enlisted by her in her pleadings. Her educational qualification and the activities she has enlisted for the betterment of society in the State of Telangana are essentially, one side of herself and are impressive.

“However, while deciding the present bail applications, though this court may appreciate these accomplishments, it cannot lose sight of the serious allegations levelled by the prosecution and the evidence collected during the course of the investigation and presented before this court, which prima facie reveal her role in the offence in question”.

It said the material collected by the ED pointed out that Kavitha was one of the key conspirators in alleged scam.

“Thus, K Kavitha cannot be equated to a vulnerable woman who may have been misused to commit an offence, which is the class of women for whom the proviso to Section 45 of PMLA has been incorporated, as held by the Hon’ble Apex Court…. Accordingly, this court is of the considered opinion that K Kavitha is not entitled to the benefit of proviso to Section 45 of PMLA,” Justice Sharma said.

Kavitha had challenged the trial court's May 6 order by which her bail applications in the CBI's corruption case as well as the ED's money laundering case were dismissed.

Kavitha's lawyer submitted that of the 50 accused in the excise case, she is the lone woman and urged the court to consider granting her bail as the law keeps women on a different pedestal.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposed Kavitha's bail pleas, saying she is powerful enough to influence the witnesses.

Kavitha is in judicial custody in the two cases.

The "scam" pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 that was later scrapped.

The ED arrested Kavitha (46) from her Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad on March 15, while the CBI arrested her in Tihar jail.

In her bail plea in the ED case, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader, daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, had said she had "nothing to do" with the excise policy and there was a criminal conspiracy against her "orchestrated by the ruling party at the Centre with the active connivance of the ED".

Latest News

No stories found.

Related Stories

No stories found.