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Delhi liquor policy case: BRS leader Kavitha submits her old phones to ED

Kavitha is questioned by ED for the third time

Kavitha 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 for questioning before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday for the third time in connection with the Delhi excise policy linked money laundering case.

Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao reached the ED office at 11:30 am. While reaching the office, she waved a bag of phones to the supporters that she is going to submit to the ED.

The probe agency had alleged that she had destroyed 10 phones. In a letter to the ED, Kavitha said that "These phones are submitted without prejudice to my right and contentions and larger contentions whether a woman's phone can be intruded, in the teeth of her right to privacy."

"It is baffling to note as to how, why and under what such circumstances agency made such allegations when I was not even summoned or asked any questions whatsoever," said Kavitha.

She also added that she is submitting the phones to dispel any notion or "adverse impression" that the agency is allegedly trying to create.

She had appeared before the ED on March 11 and March 20.

On Monday she had exited the ED office around 9:15 pm after her statements were recorded by the agency.

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

Kavitha was earlier questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the case at her residence in Hyderabad.

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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