NEW DELHI: Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha skipped the summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case related to Delhi Excise Policy case.
The BRS leader had approached the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing claiming that as a woman, she cannot be summoned to the ED office, and the probe agency’s representatives must visit her instead
On Wednesday the Supreme Court had agreed to hear her plea challenging the ED summons on March 24 but refused to grant her interim relief.
Kavitha did not appear for the third round of ED questioning conveying to the probe agency that the matter is still pending before the apex court.
According to the sources, Kavitha has sent the necessary documents sought by the probe agency through her legal representative.
The ED had asked the BRS MLC to appear before it today.
Heavy security was deployed outside the Delhi residence of the Kavitha ahead of her questioning by ED. The court has agreed to hear her petition on March 24, in the Delhi excise policy case.
Kavitha, who is the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, approached the Supreme court saying as per norms a woman cannot be summoned for questioning before ED in office and her questioning should take place at her residence.
The advocate for Kavitha said that a woman is now being summoned by ED for questioning and that it is “completely against the law”.
Kavitha’s lawyer mentioned the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and sought an urgent hearing on her petitions. The court agreed to list it on March 24.
The court asked the lawyer what was the urgency in the matter and the lawyer replied that Kavitha has been asked to appear before ED tomorrow.
In a petition filed through advocate Vandana Sehgal, Kavitha has urged the top court to quash the ED summons dated March 7 and 11 stating that asking her to appear before the agency office instead of her residence is contrary to the settled tenets of criminal jurisprudence and thus, wholly unsustainable in law being violative of the Proviso to Section 160 of the CrPC.
She has also sought that all procedures carried out by ED, including those in relation to the recording of statements be audio or videographed in the presence of her lawyer at a visible distance inter-alia by way of installation of appropriate CCTV cameras.
She has also sought to set aside impounding order dated March 11 2023 and declare the seizure made thereunder null and void.
In the petition, she said, “Despite the petitioner, Kavitha not being named in the FIR, certain members of the incumbent ruling political party at the Center made scandalous statements linking the Petitioner to the Delhi Excise Policy and the said FIR.”
“The political conspiracy against the petitioner (K Kavitha) unfortunately did not end with judicial intervention by way of the Suit. The Enforcement Directorate filed a remand application qua one of the accused on November 30, 2022, before the concerned Court. This remand application contained the personal contact details of the petitioner.
There was no rhyme or reason to include the personal contact details of the petitioner in a remand application which did not even concern the petitioner. The act is all the more egregious considering the Petitioner is a lady,” BRS leader said.
“The subsequent events are extremely shameful and in the belief of the Petitioner, were orchestrated by the Enforcement Directorate at the behest of the members of the incumbent ruling party at the Center, as part of a larger conspiracy against the Petitioner,” she said.
K Kavitha further added that the said remand application containing the contact details of the Petitioner were leaked to the media and the public.”
The remand application was shared extensively over social media. Such an 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,” Kavitha said.
Kavitha said that ED has also denied her request seeking to be examined at her residence, and the probe agency made a categorical statement that “there is no provision under the PMLA for the recording of statements at any persons’ residence”.
“That immediately thereafter on March 8, 2023, at 11:03 pm, the Petitioner sent an email asserting her rights to be examined at her residence. However, the Petitioner after reserving her rights intimated to the Respondent that she will appear before them on March 11, 2023,” Kavitha added. (ANI)