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Delhi HC seeks CBI reply on K Kavitha's bail petition in liquor policy case

BRS leader K Kavitha was arrested by the CBI on April 11 and is in judicial custody in Tihar Jail in Delhi

BRS leader K Kavitha (Photo: ANI)

BRS leader K Kavitha (Photo: ANI)

Nandini Singh New Delhi

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The Delhi High Court (HC) on Thursday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to respond to a bail plea filed by Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha, who is under arrest in the 2021-22 Delhi liquor policy case.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, who presided over the bench, sought the probe agency’s reply on another plea submitted by Kavitha challenging the legality of the proceedings that led to her arrest by the CBI. The matters have been slated for hearing on May 24.

Kavitha, who was arrested by the CBI on April 11 while serving judicial custody in Tihar Jail in connection with a parallel case initiated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), contends that both agencies collaborated to unlawfully detain her.

She alleged that both the ED and CBI have adopted a tactic of selectively leaking “misleading information” to the press.

The BRS leader's recourse to the Delhi High Court comes after her bail plea was dismissed by a city court. The city court's ruling on May 6 stated that Kavitha's involvement "prima facie" appeared pivotal in a conspiracy aimed at securing favourable provisions in the Delhi excise policy by channelling upfront money to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) through co-accused individuals.

Dismissing Kavitha's claim that her arrest was solely due to non-cooperation with the CBI probe and deeming her arrest illegal, the court pointed out that she could not cherry-pick certain aspects of the application and the arrest memo.

In her bail petition, Kavitha, daughter of Telangana's former Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, stated that the CBI's case hinges solely on the statements of approvers or their relatives/associates/employees, suggesting a conspiracy to tarnish her reputation and stop her participation in the Lok Sabha elections.

“The arrest and continuous incarceration of the applicant is an attempt to attack the democratic structure of this great country. If the applicant’s illegal custody is allowed to be extended, it will not only be a violation of fundamental rights of the applicant but also a breach of democratic structure of this great nation,” said the petition.

Kavitha claimed that despite the CBI filing one charge sheet and two supplementary charge sheets naming 16 accused, she has not been indicted in any of these filings.

The High Court, on May 10, also sought a response from the ED in Kavitha's plea for bail in the money laundering case. On the same day, the ED had filed a fresh charge sheet in the Delhi excise policy case, listing Kavitha among the accused.

Earlier, on April 6, the CBI had interrogated Kavitha in Tihar Jail, following court permission. However, the agency contends that her responses were unsatisfactory and evasive, despite being confronted with evidence.

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First Published: May 16 2024 | 5:43 PM IST

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