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Delhi court sends BRS leader K Kavitha to judicial custody in excise case

The Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi on Monday sent Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha to judicial custody till April 23 in connection with the excise policy case.

The decision was taken by Special Judge Kaveri Baweja after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the court that it did not require Kavitha’s custodial remand. The CBI also told the court that Kavitha was not cooperating with the investigation.

Kavitha was produced before the court at the end of her three-day remand granted by the court in the previous hearing. The court ruled on Monday that a detailed and sustained interrogation of Kavitha is required based on the material collected by the investigating agency.

The CBI stated that the custodial interrogation of Kavitha is necessary to confront her with the evidence collected so far and to unearth the larger conspiracy in the matter, involving other accused and suspects.

Kavitha, who is a member of the Telangana Legislative Council, was earlier arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 15, in the same case. The CBI inquiry was recommended based on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary’s report, which showed prima facie violations of various acts and rules in the modification of the excise policy.

The probe agencies allege that irregularities were committed in the excise policy, including undue favors extended to license holders, waiver or reduction of license fees, and the extension of the L-1 license without the competent authority’s approval. They further claim that the beneficiaries diverted “illegal” gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books to evade detection.

According to the charges, the excise department decided to refund the earnest money deposit of about Rs 30 crore to the successful tenderer against the set rules.

Despite the absence of an enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19, the probe agency said, adding that it resulted in an alleged loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer.

(Inputs from ANI)

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