Excise 'scam': BRS leader K Kavitha moves court seeking default bail in CBI case

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BRS leader K Kavitha

BRS leader K Kavitha (File image)

New Delhi: BRS leader K Kavitha on Monday approached a Delhi Court seeking 'default' bail in the corruption case linked to the alleged excise scam.

Special CBI Judge Kaveri Baweja sought the CBI's stand on the bail application which claimed that Kavitha should be granted 'default bail' as the investigating agency filed an "incomplete chargesheet" within the stipulated time of 60 days.

The trial court also reserved order on the point of taking cognizance of the third chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the matter.

While the bail application was listed for further consideration on July 12, the trial court said it will pronounce order on the point of cognizance on July 15.

Kavitha, the daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was arrested by the CBI from Tihar Jail in April where she was lodged after her arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case related to the alleged scam.

The scam pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 which was later scrapped.

The ED arrested Kavitha (46) from her Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad on March 15.

Kavitha is currently in judicial custody (JC) in both the cases.

Last month, the CBI had filed a supplementary charge sheet against Kavitha, claiming there was sufficient evidence to prosecute her in the corruption case linked to the alleged excise scam.

The CBI officials had earlier questioned Kavitha inside the prison after obtaining permission from a special court.

The BRS leader was asked about the WhatsApp chats recovered from co-accused Buchi Babu's phone and documents related to a land deal, after which an amount of Rs 100 crore was allegedly paid to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in kickbacks to swing the excise policy for the national capital in favour of a liquor lobby.

In her bail plea, Kavitha said the chargesheet is "incomplete", which gives her the "indefensible right to default bail" under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

It said while the law mandated the CBI to file a complete chargesheet within 60 days of arrest, Kavitha has already spent much more than that time in custody.

"It is amply clear that the third supplementary chargesheet has been filed with the sole purpose of obviating, scuttling and preventing the release of the applicant on default bail as also to circuitously violating the mandate of Section 309(2) of the Cr.P.C. Such inchoate and incomplete investigations aimed at violating the applicant's right of release on default bail cannot be countenanced in law and this Hon'ble Court would not be deterred to ensure that such sharp tactics do not come in the way of the dispensation of justice to the applicant," the bail plea said.