Delhi liquor policy case: The Supreme Court Monday said tagged with other pleas the petition filed by Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons in connection with the alleged Delhi excise policy scam after three weeks.
A bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi said it will hear the petitions of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader and others after three weeks.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal informed the apex court that a similar plea filed by Nalini Chidambaram, a senior advocate and wife of Congress leader P Chidambaram, is pending on a similar issue of summoning of women accused by the federal agency.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju said after filing of Nalini Chidambaram's petition, a judgement was passed by a three-judge bench upholding the provisions of the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act, which squarely covers the provisions for summoning an accused.
The bench said it would be appropriate if all the petitions are heard together and listed the matter after three weeks. Mehta sought permission to file a detailed note on the issue, which the bench allowed.
The BRS MLA in her plea had said that as per norms a woman cannot be summoned for questioning before ED in office and her questioning should take place at her residence. KCR’s daughter has sought protection from arrest and challenged the summons by the Enforcement Directorate.
On March 15, the top court agreed to hear Kavitha plea seeking protection from arrest and challenging the summons issued by the ED.
Earlier on March 21 K Kavitha was appeared before the ED for the third round of questioning in New Delhi. Before that Kavitha was grilled for almost ten hours during which she was confronted with Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Pillai and a few documentary evidence. According to reports, she had initially declined to participate in the investigation in the ED office and was willing to respond via emails. However, she later changed her mind and joined the investigation in the capital.
During her first appearance, she was reportedly confronted with Arun Pillai, who had represented the South Group which allegedly gave kickbacks of Rs 100 crore to AAP leaders allegedly used during the Goa Assembly polls.
Pillai has reportedly said that he was Kavitha's associate. On Wednesday, the ED recorded the statement of Buchchi Babu, the BRS MLC's former auditor and also a member of the South Group.
Kavitha has maintained that she has never met former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who has been arrested by the CBI and the ED in connection with the case, claiming that her name was being unnecessarily dragged into the matter. According to the ED, Kavitha is also one of the representatives of South Group in the excise policy case.
(With agencies input)