New Delhi, March 16: The Enforcement Directorate, while seeking custody of BRS MLC K. Kavitha, submitted in the court on Saturday that she is one of the "key conspirators and beneficiaries" of the alleged Delhi excise policy scam. The Rouse Avenue court subsequently sent Kavitha, arrested from Hyderabad on Friday after searches at her house, to the agency's custody till March 23. She is the daughter of party President and former Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The probe agency, in its plea for custody, alleged that along with other members of the 'South Group' – Sarath Reddy, Raghav Magunta, and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, Kavitha conspired with top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party, providing them kickbacks amounting to Rs 100 crore, and in return, they received undue favours in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy. K Kavitha Arrested by ED: Delhi Court Reserves Order on Enforcement Directorate’s Plea Seeking BRS MLC’s Custody in Excise Policy Case.

"K. Kavitha orchestrated a deal with CM, Delhi Govt, Arvind Kejriwal and then Dy CM and then Minister of Excise, Manish Sisodia, wherein she, along with other members of the South Group, paid them kickbacks through a string of intermediaries and middlemen. In exchange for the kickbacks paid to the leaders of AAP, she had access to the policy formulation and was offered provisions to ensure a favourable position to her," read the ED’s application before the court.

The ED also alleged that she further got stakes in the partnership of Indo Spirits, through her dummy Arun Pillai, without substantial investment in this firm and distribution business of Pernod Ricard India Pvt Ltd, which is one of the biggest manufacturers in the country and thus made Indo Spirits, the most profitable L1 in the Delhi Excise policy 2021-22 period and thus recouped proceeds of crime in guise of profits. K Kavitha Arrested by ED: BRS Party To Stage Statewide Protest in Telangana on March 16 Over MLC’s Arrest.

"Further, in the policy, the profit margin of the wholesaler was increased to 12 per cent so that out of this margin, a portion of it could be taken back as kickbacks. This was done to create a continuous stream of illegal funds for the AAP in the form of kickbacks from the wholesalers and for the South group to recover the kickbacks paid and further generate profits from this entire conspiracy," the application claimed.

The ED claimed that Kavitha and the others paid Rs 100 crore bribes to the top leaders of the AAP which is evident from the statement of Srinivasulu Reddy, dated July 14, 2023, recorded under Section 50 of the PMLA and his statement dated July 17, 2023, recorded under Section 164 of CrPC.

As per the statement, submitted in court, Srinivasulu Reddy said that in March 2021, he read in a Delhi newspaper that the government was privatising the liquor trade, and as they have been in the liquor business in south India for the last 71 years, they had considered expanding to Delhi and sought to meet CM Kejriwal.

He stated that the CM's office had given him time on the evening of March 16, 2021, and when he met Kejriwal, "he was cordial and said that we welcome everyone in Delhi to do business".

"Regarding the liquor business earlier, Kavitha, daughter of Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrashekhar Rao, had already approached me to do liquor business in Delhi and offered to pay Rs 100 crore to the party i.e. the AAP, and she will call you in this liquor business connection or you call her, discuss the future, since already their team is working in Delhi," he said, as per his statement.

The ED, quoting his statement, said Kavitha called Srinivasulu Reddy on March 19, 2021 and asked him to meet her, which he did the next day, and she told him that Kejriwal had spoken to her and asked her to give Rs 100 crore and accordingly, she asked Srinivasulu Reddy to arrange Rs 50 crore for this.

"Kavitha told him that her CA Buchi Babu will visit him and his son Raghav Magunta to coordinate this. Buchi Babu visited them the next day and Raghav Magunta told him that he could arrange Rs 30 crore and finally Rs 25 crore was paid in cash to Abhishek Boinpalli and Buchi Babu on the instructions of K. Kavitha," it said.

The ED also said that Raghav Magunta, in his statement, dated July 26, 2023, recorded under Section 50 of the PMLA, and another one, dated July 27, 2023, recorded under Section 164 of CrPC, admitted he paid Rs 25 crore in cash to Abhishek Boinpally and Buchi Babu as per the agreement between Kavitha, himself and his father Srinivasulu Reddy.

The agency claimed that this cash transfer took place in two parts - on March 28, 2021, Rs 10 crore was delivered by Raghav Magunta's staffer Gopi Kumaran to an address given by Buchi Babu in Chennai and in June 2021, an amount of Rs 15 crore delivered by Gopi Kumaran to an address given by Boinpally, and that Gopi Kumaran has corroborated the statement of Raghav Magunta,” ED said in the application.

The ED further said that Sarath Reddy, in his statement, dated April 25, 2023, recorded under Section 50 of PMLA, 2002 and dated April 29, 2023, recorded under Section 164 of CrPC, said that sometime in March 2021, Arun Pillai contacted him and informed him that there was a new business opportunity in the Delhi liquor business and Kavitha was in discussion with CM Kejriwal and his deputy Sisodia regarding the upcoming policy through Vijay Nair.

“Soon after this discussion with Pillai, Reddy met Kavitha in Hyderabad. Kavitha also told him that she had discussed the matter with Magunta and informed that her team was already working in Delhi with Nair on this," the ED’s application read, adding that the team comprised Pillai, Buchi Babu, and Boinpalli.

"Kavitha also informed Reddy that all the issues on behalf of Kejriwal and Sisodia in this regard would be handled by Nair," the ED claimed.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 16, 2024 10:35 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website