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Prolonged imprisonment inevitable for Kavitha?

Prolonged imprisonment inevitable for Kavitha?

If the developments in the national capital are any indication, Bharat Rashtra Samithi legislative council member and party president K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha may have to spend a long time in jail in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case.

Kavitha, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 15 in the money-laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy case, did not get any relief in the Supreme Court seeking bail.

A special bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, M M Sundaresh and Bela M Trivedi said that Kavitha would have to approach the trial court for bail and hence rejected the contention of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was representing Kavitha.

If the trial court rejects bail, Kavitha would have to spend at least a few months in jail, till the ED files its charge sheet against her.

During the hearing today, Sibal at the outset made a request to the Court to not ask her to approach the High Court first. "Please see what is happening in the country. All the statements are by approvers. I am very upset as counsel."

The Court urged the senior counsel to not be overcome by emotions.

While refusing to say anything on the merits of the case against Kavitha, the bench, however, directed that her bail plea be decided expeditiously.

Soon after her arrest by the ED, Kavitha had moved the Supreme Court against her arrest. A Delhi court on March 16 remanded her to ED custody for a week.

While Sibal also referred to the case of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who was also recently arrested by the ED in a money laundering case, the Court said it cannot entertain Kavitha's petition directly just because she was a political person.

Sibal then said that she was not "even in the character of an accused yet" as per a statement made in her case before the top court itself against the ED summons.

However, the Court was not convinced and issued notice only with respect to the challenge against provisions of PMLA.

The ED has claimed that Kavitha was linked to a "South Group" lobby of liquor traders who were trying to play a larger role under the now scrapped Delhi Excise Policy for 2021-22.

It has been alleged that one of the accused in the case, Vijay Nair, received kickbacks to the tune of at least Rs 100 crore on behalf of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders from the "South Group", allegedly controlled by Sarath Reddy, K Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy.

The ED questioned Kavitha thrice last year in this case and again summoned her this year, but she did not depose, citing a Supreme Court direction that allowed her protection from any coercive action.

After she was arrested, she was brought to Delhi and Special Judge MK Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Court remanded her to ED custody till March 23.


Tags: KCR K. Kavitha