Delhi Liquor Policy Case: BRS Leader Kavitha Moves SC Over ED Summons

The Telangana chief minister's daughter alleged that summons issued to her are in violation of Section 160 CrPC, which stipulates that no woman shall be required to attend as a witness at any place other than the place in which she resides.

New Delhi: Telangana chief minister’s daughter, K. Kavitha, moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 15, challenging the summons issued to her by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case.

Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud refused an immediate hearing and posted the matter for March 24. The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader, in the interim, must comply with ED summons. She has been called by the central agency to appear before it on Thursday, March 16. She was first questioned by the ED on March 11 for nine hours at its office in Delhi.

Kavitha’s counsel, Vikram Chaudhari, argued that she has not been named in the first information report (FIR) and that the summons issued to her are in violation of Section 160 CrPC, which stipulates that no woman shall be required to attend as a witness at any place other than the place in which she resides, according to Livelaw.in.

The BRS leader also said that the ED had forced her to produce her mobile phone, stating that the probe agency’s action went against Sections 50(2) and 50(3) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which do not mandate the production of mobile phones. She also said that she was interrogated after sunset at the ED office in Delhi while the rules state that a woman cannot be questioned at any other place than the house where she lives.

While stating that there is no case against her, the BRS leader alleged that the arrested persons in the case were coerced and threatened by the probe agency to issue false statements against her. She said it is being done at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power at the national level. The BJP, which is locked in a battle with Telangana’s ruling BRS, has been sharpening its attack on the BRS chief’s family ahead of Assembly elections in the state later this year.

“There is no case against the petitioner. The only basis on which the petitioner has been implicated is on basis of certain statement of a few persons who have given incriminating statements qua themselves as well as allegedly against the petitioner. However, such statements have been extracted out of threat and coercion, which is evident from the fact that on March 10, 2023, one Arun Ramachandran Pillai, has retracted his statement. The credibility of the statements purported to be against the petitioner is under serious doubt,” Kavitha submitted in her plea to the apex court, according to Deccan Herald.

Kavitha also accused ED of “malicious conduct”, stating that the remand application of an accused and their contact details in the case was shared with the media extensively by the BJP leaders against rules.

“The remand application was shared extensively over social media, especially by the members of the incumbent ruling party at the Center. Such act is petty, illegal, and an unfortunate reflection upon the malicious conduct of the Enforcement Directorate in consonance with the political party in power at Center,” she alleged.

It is ED’s case that South Group, to which Kavitha belonged, gave Rs 100 crore to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to gain control over the liquor business in Delhi, and the same was used by AAP to fund their election campaign in Goa. Former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is already under arrest in the case.