After Probe Agency's Big Claim Against BRS Leader K Kavitha, AAP's Retort

Delhi liquor policy case: The Enforcement Directorate alleges that BRS leader K Kavitha conspired with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders in the case.

New Delhi:

Probe agencies CBI and ED have both claimed to made headway into their Delhi liquor policy case investigation. The Central Bureau of Investigation has told the court that they could arrest some "high-profile persons" as they probe alleged money laundering in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22, which allegedly benefited certain liquor dealers

The Enforcement Directorate also put forth a theory alleging that BRS leader K Kavitha conspired with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders in the case. The agency alleges that Kavitha paid Rs 100 crore to Aam Aadmi Party leaders.

Kavitha, the daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was arrested by the agency last week from her Hyderabad home and she is in the ED custody till March 23.

"Probe found that Ms K Kavitha along with others conspired with the top leaders of AAP including Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia for getting favours in the Delhi excise policy-formulation and implementation," the ED said in a statement.  

"In exchange of these favours, she was involved in paying Rs 100 crore to the leaders of AAP," the agency said.

The agency claimed that by the acts of "corruption and conspiracy" in the formulation and implementation of Delhi excise policy 2021-22, a continuous stream of illegal funds in the form of kickbacks from the wholesalers was generated for the AAP, it said.

The Aam Aadmi Party though, has denied all these charges and alleged that the probe is being used to malign Mr Kejriwal's image ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

"On earlier occasions too, ED has released such blatantly false and frivolous statements which show that instead of being a neutral investigative agency, it is working like a political wing of BJP," AAP said in a statement.

No immediate reaction was available from the BJP over the AAP's charge.

The AAP said the agency's charges are a "desperate attempt" to malign the image of its Mr Kejriwal and former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia by "planting falsehoods and creating a media sensation" every day.

"ED's statement, which presents no new fact or evidence, speaks volumes of its frustration since they have not recovered a single rupee or piece of evidence in this case, despite carrying out over 500 raids and questioning thousands of witnesses," the AAP said.

The ED and the CBI had alleged that the Delhi government's excise policy to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP.

The policy was scrapped by the Kejriwal government, days after Delhi L-G VK Saxena in July 2022 recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in its formulation and implementation. Later, a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) linked to the excise policy case, was registered by the ED.