Delhi liquor policy case: Telangana CM’s daughter says she will appear before ED on March 11
Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha had described the summons by the Enforcement Directorate as ‘tactics of intimidation’ by the Centre.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha on Wednesday said that she will appear for questioning in the Delhi liquor policy case on March 11.
Kavitha, a Bharat Rashtra Samithi legislator, was asked to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in the national capital on March 9.
This was a day after the Enforcement Directorate had arrested a Hyderabad-based businessman named Arun Ramchandra Pillai, who is allegedly part of a “South Group” that was extended favours under the Delhi government’s now-scrapped liquor policy.
The agency has claimed that Pillai represented Kavitha’s “benami interests” in a firm in which he’s a partner, according to The Print.
Kavitha had said that she had appointments related to a proposed protest in support of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Delhi on March 10 and added that she would seek legal opinions on the date of appearance.
Shehad described the summons by the Enforcement Directorate as “tactics of intimidation” by the Centre but added that she would fully cooperate with the federal agency.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the money laundering aspect in the case, has alleged that Kavitha is also part of the “South Group” that paid at least Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party through arrested businessman Vijay Nair.
In December, she was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation for over seven hours in connection with the case.
The Delhi government’s excise policy came into effect in November 2021. Under it, licences of 849 liquor shops were issued to private firms through open bidding. Earlier, four government corporations ran 475 liquor stores and the remaining 389 were private shops.
However, the policy was withdrawn by the Aam Aadmi Party-led government on July 30 after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI inquiry, alleging irregularities in the policy’s formulation and implementation.
The Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation have alleged that the excise policy was modified to ensure a 12% profit margin for wholesalers and almost 185% profit margin for retailers.
Apart from Kavitha, others in the alleged “South Group” include Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, the YSR Congress Party Lok Sabha MP from Ongole in Andhra Pradesh, his son Raghav Magunta and P Sarath Chandra Reddy, the son of PV Ramprasad Reddy, who is the founder of the Hyderabad-based Aurobindo Pharma.
The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that the “South Group secured uninhibited access, attained stakes in established wholesale businesses and multiple retail zones [over and above what was allowed in the policy]”.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia was arrested on February 26 by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the case. He is in jail after a court remanded him to 14-day judicial custody till March 20.