₹1,100 crore proceeds of crime in Delhi excise policy case, says ED | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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1,100 crore proceeds of crime in Delhi excise policy case, says ED

ByNeeraj Chauhan
Jun 04, 2024 05:10 AM IST

ED filed the charge sheet against Kavitha on May 10, and a Delhi court took cognisance of it last week

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in a charge sheet filed against Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy 2021-22, has claimed that it has identified proceeds of crime — the federal agency’s term for money unlawfully generated and laundered — worth 1,100 crore in connection with the case.

ED linked K Kavitha of the BRS to the generation of proceeds of crime worth <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>192.8 crore. (ANI)
ED linked K Kavitha of the BRS to the generation of proceeds of crime worth 192.8 crore. (ANI)

“As per the investigation so far, the total proceeds of crime identified so far is 1,100 crore, out of which PoC of 292.8 crore is being dealt with in this prosecution complaint [ED’s equivalent of a charge sheet]. Through activities of the accused persons – K Kavitha, Chanpreet Singh, Prince Kumar, Damodar Sharma and Arvind Singh, huge PoC has been generated,” ED claimed in its charge sheet, accessed by HT.

ED filed the charge sheet against Kavitha on May 10, and a Delhi court took cognisance of it last week.

The federal agency also linked Kavitha to the generation of proceeds of crime worth 192.8 crore in its charge sheet.

“Kavitha conspired with the members of the South Group and the AAP [Aam Aadmi Party] leaders through accused Vijay Nair (who was acting on behalf of the top leaders of the AAP) to pay kickbacks to the tune of 100 crore and receive undue benefits,” the charge sheet said.

On Kavitha’s role, the agency in previous court documents said that she “orchestrated a deal with CM, Delhi – Arvind Kejriwal and then deputy CM and the excise minister - Manish Sisodia, wherein she, along with other members of the South Group, paid them kickbacks through a string of intermediaries and middlemen. In exchange for kickbacks paid to the leaders of AAP, Kavitha had access to the policy formulation and was offered provisions to ensure a favourable position to her”.

The BRS leader, however, refuted all charges in her statements recorded before ED, which are part of the charge sheet. She told the ED officer that she has not — herself or through any other people — given any “kickbacks/bribes/funds to Vijay Nair or any other leader of AAP”.

She also denied meeting any AAP leader from 2020 to 2022 — including Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and former deputy CM Manish Sisodia — barring Nair, who introduced himself to her as a media consultant, not as an AAP leader.

ED also detailed evidence pertaining to the transfer of cash worth 64.26 crore to Goa. Earlier, the agency had mentioned that kickbacks worth 45 crore were transferred to Goa for the AAP’s campaign for the 2022 assembly elections in that state.

HT reached out to BRS, but party leaders did not comment on the development.

The Delhi government’s 2021-22 excise policy aimed to revitalise the city’s flagging liquor business, but was scrapped after lieutenant governor VK Saxena recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into alleged irregularities in the regime.

ED, carrying out a separate probe into the policy in connection with alleged money laundering, has previously said that the policy, specifically brought by Sisodia, promoted cartel formations through the back door, awarded exorbitant wholesale profit margins of 12%, and “incentivised” other illegal activities as part of a criminal conspiracy by Sisodia and other AAP leaders to extract kickbacks from liquor businesses.

The financial crimes probe agency has so far arrested 18 people in connection with the case, including four politicians – Kejriwal, Sisodia, Kavitha, and AAP parliamentarian Sanjay Singh — has filed eight charge sheets against 36 people and entities; and has submitted thousands of documents as evidence in the court.

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