Delhi excise policy ‘scam’: BRS MLC Kavitha writes to CBI challenging summons

"Since I have absolutely no role to play in any of the accusations, the CBI does not need my assistance any longer in the matter as the case is entirely sub-judice before the court of law," she said in a letter to the central agency.

Hyderabad: Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha wrote to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday, February 25, challenging the agency’s summons in the Delhi excise policy case, stating that the current notice “as it appears to be sent by invoking Section 41A Cr.P.C. while not being aware or conscious of the earlier notice sent under Section 160 CrPC”

Not possible to attend personally: Kavitha

“In the light of my pressing onerous engagements coupled with my commitment to the people of my state and taking into consideration the necessity of my personal presence in my state while the parliamentary elections are underway, your good self may consider keeping such notice in abeyance.

I may also beseech your good-self to consider the entire matter with objective understanding and appreciation regarding my onerous engagements, duties, and responsibilities towards the people of my state with whom I am scheduled to attend several one-to-one personal meetings in the next about 6 weeks or so spread over different districts in the state thereby rendering me practically incapable of appearing before you in person on February 26,” she said, in a letter to the central agency.

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The BRS MLC said that she is however available for a virtual questioning session and is ready to answer all queries regarding the case.

Kavitha questions notice under Section 41A

“I express my grave dismay and concern that your good-self has chosen to send me a notice under Section 41A of Cr.P.C. when about one year and 3 months back on 2.12.2022, the then investigating officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, CBI ACB issued me a similar notice under Section 160 Cr.P.C.

Since I have absolutely no role to play in any of the accusations, the CBI does not need my assistance any longer in the matter as the case is entirely sub-judice before the court of law.

The present notice under Section 41A Cr.P.C. is in complete contrast to the earlier notice under Section 160 Cr.P.C. which was issued to me on December 2, 2022, and which already stands complied with,” she added.

She remarked that “there is absolutely no logic, reason or background forthcoming as to how why and under what circumstances have you now resorted to Section 41A Cr.P.C.”

“When the matter is sub-judice before the Honourable Supreme Court albeit with respect to the PMLA case arising out of the connected investigation, wherein a definite statement has been made by the Learned ASG that I may not be summoned until the hearing, the same would in essence and spirit apply to the present case as well,” she said.

What is Section 41A

Section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) provides for a notice to appear before a police officer. This section aims to prevent unnecessary arrests and allows the police officer to issue a notice to an accused based on a reasonable complaint.

According to the section, if the accused complies with the notice, arrest should be avoided. However, the police officer can still exercise discretion to arrest based on recorded reasons.

The amendment to Section 41A in 2010 made it mandatory for police officers to issue such notices by replacing ‘may’ with ‘shall’ and introduced a proviso requiring reasons for not arresting an accused. 

Guidelines issued by courts emphasize transparency and proper procedure in issuing these notices, including the use of serially numbered booklets, specific timelines for serving notices, and consequences for non-compliance, the section states.

Section 160

Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC), 1973, empowers a police officer to require the attendance of witnesses for interrogation related to a criminal investigation.

This section authorizes the police to summon individuals who are believed to possess relevant information about a case, regardless of whether they reside within the jurisdiction of the police station where the investigation is taking place.

Witnesses are expected to cooperate with the police and provide truthful responses to questions pertaining to the case without fear of retribution. If a witness fails to comply with a summons issued under Section 160 CrPC, they can be held accountable and potentially charged with contempt of court.

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