Kavitha is one of the accused in Delhi’s liquor distribution scam, in which the anti-money laundering agency has arrested and questioned her close associate Arun Pillai. The latter has been in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody since March 6 and a special court has further extended his custody till March 20 when Kavitha is expected to face the investigating officer.
The agency informed a PMLA court that YSR Congress MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy has also been summoned in the same case on March 18 to record his statements and to be confronted with Pillai.
This is not the first time that Kavitha has skipped her summons. Last week, she had claimed that she was busy with a protest organised in favour of the Women’s Reservation Bill and, hence, unable to appear before the agency.
On Thursday, her representative told the ED that her petition is pending before the apex court, seeking protection from arrest, and that she should be exempted from questioning till March 24 when the hearing is scheduled.
The agency has claimed in submissions to the court earlier that Rs 100 crore was paid as bribes to Aam Aadmi Party leaders by the “south group”, a cartel controlling liquor distribution in Delhi in which Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy are allegedly beneficiaries.
On Wednesday, the ED had questioned Kavitha’s former chartered accountant Butchi Babu who, along with Pillai, is seen by the agency as protecting the BRS MLC’s alleged interests in the “south group”.
On Thursday, while seeking extension of Pillai’s custody, the ED claimed before a special court here that it has found fresh details during questioning of Butchi Babu and that it needs to be checked with Pillai. Both Butch Babu and Pillai had allegedly told the agency about their role in the cartel and about their association with Kavitha. Butchi Babu will be again confronted with Pillai on Friday.