Earlier this year, the five-time MLA faced arrest by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in connection with a case associated with purported possession of disproportionate assets
In a breather to Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader Kalvakuntla Kavitha, for now, the Supreme Court on Friday posted for hearing on September 26, her plea against fresh summons by the anti-money laundering agency, as the Enforcement Directorate told the court that it will not enforce its summands issued on September 14.
Posting the matter for hearing on September 26, a bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia
asked Additional Solicitor General SV Raju (for Enforcement Directorate) whether the bench should pass an order that they would not enforce the summons issued on September 14 to appear before it.
The ED said that they are deferring the enforcing of the summons against her till September 26.
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating Kavitha for her alleged involvement in money laundering rooted in Delhi excise policy irregularities.
Advocate appearing for Kavitha urged the court to pass an order in her (Kavitha’s) case that was passed in senior advocate Nalini Chidambaram’s case and decide the main issue pending before the court.
The top court had on August 3, 2018, by an order extended an earlier interim order passed by the Madras High Court protecting her from any coercive steps. The same continues to be extended. She was summoned by ED in connection With Saradha chit fund scam case.
The top court is seized of a batch of petitions including by Kavitha in which she contended whether she needs to be interrogated at her home or in ED office in Delhi. The court has earlier issued notice in similar petitions of Nalini Chidambaram and Abhishek Banerjee
The ED has said that Section 160 Code of Criminal Procedure is not applicable in PMLA cases in pursuance to the top court judgement upholding stringent provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Kavitha in her petition has urged the top court to quash March 7 & 11 and now September 14, summons by the Enforcement Directorate stating that asking her to appear at agency’s 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 Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr PC).
She has also sought that the seizure made by the ED be declared as null and void.
Bharat Rashtra Samiti leader has also sought that all proceedings to be carried out by ED, including those in relation to the recording of statements to be audio or videographed in the presence of her lawyer at a visible distance inter-alia by way of installation of appropriate CCTV cameras.
Alleging political conspiracy by certain members of ruling BJP at the Centre, Kavitha in her petition has alleged that despite her not being named in the FIR, certain members of the incumbent ruling political party at Centre, made scandalous statements linking her to the Delhi Excise Policy and the said FIR.
“The political conspiracy against the Petitioner (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 30.11.2022 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,” the BRS leader said.
Kavitha has said that the subsequent events are “extremely shameful” and in the “belief of the Petitioner (Kavitha), were orchestrated by the Enforcement Directorate at the behest of the members of the incumbent ruling party at the Centre, as part of a larger conspiracy against the Petitioner.”