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Delhi liquor policy case: BRS leader Kavitha appears before ED for questioning

SC to hear her plea against ED on March 24

ED questioning BRS MLC K Kavitha arrives at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in connection with the Delhi excise policy case, in New Delhi | PTI

BRS leader K. Kavitha appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday for second round of questioning in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case.

She had skipped the ED summons on March 16 as her plea for relief against ED was pending in the Supreme Court (SC).

Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, was first questioned by the ED on March 11.

SC on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea by Kavitha seeking protection from arrest and challenging the summons by the ED in a money laundering case out of the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y Chandrachud and Justice P.S Narasimha took note of the submissions and agreed to hear the plea on March 24.

Kavitha's statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

During the nine hours spent at the ED office, Kavitha is reportedly have been confronted with statements made by Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, who was arrested in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case.

The BRS leader had repeatedly said that she had done nothing wrong and criticised the BJP for “using” central agencies to target the opposition leaders.

According to the ED, Pillai represented the South Group, an alleged liquor cartel linked to Kavitha and others that paid kickbacks amounting to about Rs 100 crore to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to gain a larger share of the market.

The "South Group", according to the ED, comprises Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Pharma), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (YSR Congress MP from Ongole Lok Sabha seat in Andhra Pradesh), his son Raghav Magunta, Kavitha and others.

ED has also recorded the statement of Butchibabu, an accountant allegedly linked to Kavitha. Reportedly he had said that there was political understanding between Kavitha and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

Butchibabu was arrested by the CBI earlier and was questioned again by the ED. In connection with the case, Vijay Nair was also arrested by both ED and CBI.

In connection with the case, the ED has arrested so far 12 people including former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.

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