New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court on the Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha’s plea challenging the summons issued by the probe agency against her in connection to Delhi excise policy case.
A Caveat application is filed by a litigant to ensure that no adverse order is passed against them without being heard.
Kavitha, who is the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has approached the Supreme court saying that as per norms, a woman cannot be summoned for questioning before ED in office and her questioning should take place at her residence.
On March 15, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Kavitha’s plea challenging the summons of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 24.
ED has asked the MLC to appear again before it on March 16, but she did not appear citing that her plea is pending in SC.
The court has agreed to hear her petition on March 24 in connection with a money laundering case related to the alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy case.
The advocate for Kavitha said that a woman is now being summoned by ED for questioning and that it is “completely against the law”.
Kavitha’s lawyer mentioned the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and sought an urgent hearing on her petitions. The court agreed to list it on March 24.
The court asked what was the urgency in the matter, and the lawyer replied that Kavitha has been asked to appear before ED tomorrow.
In a petition filed through advocate Vandana Sehgal, Kavitha has urged the top court to quash the ED summons dated March 7 and 11, stating that asking her to appear before the agency 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 the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.
She has also sought that all procedures carried out by ED, including those in relation to the recording of statements be audio or videographed in the presence of her lawyer at a visible distance inter-alia by way of installation of appropriate CCTV cameras.
She has also sought to set aside impounding order dated March 11, 2023, and declare the seizure made thereunder null and void.
In the petition, she said, “Despite the petitioner, Kavitha not being named in the FIR, certain members of the incumbent ruling political party at the centre made scandalous statements linking the petitioner to the Delhi Excise Policy and the said FIR.”
“The political conspiracy against the petitioner (K 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 November 30, 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,” BRS leader said.
“The subsequent events are extremely shameful and in the belief of the petitioner, 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,” she said.
K Kavitha further added that the said remand application containing the contact details of the Petitioner was leaked to the media and the public.
“The remand application was shared extensively over social media. Such an act is petty, illegal, and an unfortunate reflection upon the malicious conduct of the Enforcement Directorate in consonance with the political party in power at centre,” Kavitha said.
She also said that ED has also denied her request seeking to be examined at her residence, and the probe agency made a categorical statement that “there is no provision under the PMLA for the recording of statements at any persons’ residence”.
“That immediately thereafter on March 8, 2023, at 11:03 pm, the Petitioner sent an email asserting her rights to be examined at her residence. However, the Petitioner after reserving her rights intimated to the Respondent that she will appear before them on March 11, 2023,” Kavitha added.