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Delhi court allows CBI to quiz Kavitha in excise case | Latest News Delhi

A Delhi court on Friday granted permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to interrogate Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha on any day next week in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

BRS leader K Kavitha being taken to Rouse Avenue court at the end of her Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody in Delhi excise policy money laundering case, in New Delhi. (ANI)

Kavitha, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 15 in the same case, has been in judicial custody at Tihar Jail since March 26. The CBI submitted an application seeking to examine Kavitha while she is in custody on suspected charges of money laundering.

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The CBI told the court that they want to interrogate Kavitha about WhatsApp chats retrieved from the mobile phone of her chartered accountant and co-accused Butchibabu Gorantla, as well as documents and phones recovered during the investigation. Special Judge Kaveri Baweja granted the CBI permission to interrogate Kavitha and record her statements at Tihar Jail.

In addition to the ED’s scrutiny, Kavitha is also under investigation by the CBI, which issued summons to her in February. However, citing an exemption granted by the Supreme Court, Kavitha did not appear before the CBI.

Although Kavitha has not been formally charged in any of the six ED charge sheets filed thus far, she has been referenced as a significant figure in court documents. The primary allegation against her involves her alleged involvement in a bribery scheme known as the “South Group,” which allegedly paid 100 crore in kickbacks to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders in exchange for preferential treatment in securing retail zones under the Delhi excise policy.

Kavitha has filed a regular bail application, which is pending before the court, and an interim bail application, on which the court is expected to issue orders on April 8.

The Delhi government’s 2021-22 excise policy, aimed at revitalising the city’s liquor business, came under scrutiny, leading to a recommendation by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena for a CBI probe into alleged irregularities. The policy was ultimately cancelled.

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