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K Kavitha denied bail in Excise Policy case

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New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday denied interim bail to Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha in the Delhi Excise Policy case.

Special Judge (PMLA) Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Courts pronounced the order after the Enforcement Directorate said that the investigation is at a crucial stage and Kavitha will influence the witnesses if granted bail.

The Court had reserved its verdict on April 4.

Kavitha was arrested on March 15 evening from Hyderabad, hours after the ED) team searched the premises and interrogated her. She is presently in judicial custody in Tihar Jail.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kavitha, argued that the proviso to Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which allows the court to release woman-on bail notwithstanding the rigorous bail conditions under the Act. He argued that the son of the accused is taking exams and would need his mother’s emotional support.

Appearing for the ED advocate Zoheb Hossain, said that the exception to women under the proviso to Section 45 of PMLA is “not for a woman who is in public life and a leading politician of the state”.

Opposing the bail plea Hossain said that Kavitha is one of the main accused in the case and ED is on the verge of a breakthrough in the probe. Granting interim bail to Kavitha at this stage will derail the investigation, and she has already attempted to influence witnesses, Hossain alleged.

Hossain explained how Kavitha was one of the main accused in the case, “She is one of the prime persons accused of giving bribes. She is a beneficiary through her proxies. This is not based only on statements but based on documents and WhatsApp chats. This is all corroborated,” he contended.

Hossain claimed that Kavitha destroyed evidence against her including evidence on her mobile phone. We have a forensic report which shows how evidence was destroyed. She deleted evidence from her mobile phone. This was done on the date she was issued a summons, Hossain alleged.

Hossain further said, “There was no data in apps like FaceTime. On March 11, she said she would produce the phone on the next date. On the next date, she produced 9 phones. But these were formatted. She said she did not do it. When we pressed, she was evasive. The forensic report shows they were formatted after March 11,” Hossain argued.

“We want to highlight that there is influencing of witnesses. The attempt is to make witnesses retract the statement. A person has come forward and told us he was forced. There is destruction of evidence as well,” Hossain stated.

Regarding Kavitha’s son’s exam, Hossain stated, “Her son’s 7 out of 12 papers are already over. He is not alone. He has a father and an elder brother. The young man is not alone.”

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