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Telangana CM’s daughter summoned for questioning in Delhi liquor policy scam

K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (Photo: ANI)

The Enforcement Directorate has summoned K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, on Thursday for questioning in connection with the investigation into the Delhi liquor policy corruption case, according to sources.

Bharatiya Rashtriya Samiti (BRS) MLC Kavitha is reported to have been asked to appear for questioning at the ED headquarters in the national capital.

Kavitha will be confronted with Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, who was arrested on Monday night in the case.

According to the ED probe, Pillai is one of the key persons in the  scam involving alleged payments of up to Rs 100 crore in bribes by the liquor cartel of the South Group to the Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi. AAP leader Manish Sisodia who was the excise minister at the time dealing with the liquor policy was arrested and is now lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail.

South Group comprises Telangana MLC Kavitha, Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Group), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (MP, Ongole), his son Raghav Magunta, and others. The South Group was being represented by Pillai, Abhishek Boinpalli and Butchi Babu, the federal agency investigation has revealed.

Pillai is learnt to be a partner of 32.5 per cent in Indo Spirits, which had got an L1 licence. Indo Spirits is a partnership firm of Arun Pillai (32.5 per cent), Prem Rahul (32.5 per cent) and Indospirit Distribution Limited (35 per cent), wherein Arun Pillai and Prem Rahul represented the benami investments of Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and his son Raghava Magunta.

Kavitha, who is a member of Telangana Legislative Council, was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the same case in December last year.

ED, last year filed its first chargesheet in the case. The agency said it has so far undertaken nearly 200 search operations in this case after filing FIR after taking cognisance of a CBI case which was registered on the recommendation of the Delhi lieutenant governor.

The CBI inquiry was recommended on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary’s report filed in July showing prima facie violations of rules.

In October, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Delhi’s Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, in the case and arrested him later.

The CBI too filed its first charge sheet in the case early this week.

The ED and the CBI have alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy to grant undue favours to licence holders. The licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval. The beneficiaries diverted “illegal” gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.

This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer. A CBI inquiry was ordered following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.