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Excise policy: ED attaches assets worth Rs 115 cr of 2 approvers

By Neelabh Srivastava
June 04, 2024 01:01 IST
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The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth more than Rs 115 crore of two of its approvers -- Telugu Desam Party's Lok Sabha poll candidate Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy's businessman son Raghav Magunta and Aurobindo Pharma promoter Sarath Chandra Reddy -- in a money-laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

Image used for representational purpose only. Photograph: Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

The agency made the disclosure in a chargesheet filed by it on May 10 against former Telangana chief minister and Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Chandrashekar Rao's MLC daughter K Kavitha and four others.


A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court took cognisance of this prosecution complaint on May 29.

Both Raghav Magunta and Reddy are stated to be members of the so-called "south group" led by Kavitha. The ED has charged that the group made a payment of Rs 100 crore to the Aam Aadmi Party to tweak the Delhi excise policy for 2021-22 in its favour. The policy was scrapped following charges of illegalities.

The AAP had alleged that the statements recorded by the Maguntas led to the arrest of its supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 21 and that Reddy had paid Rs 55 crore to the Bharatiya Janata Party through electoral bonds, which proves that the saffron party has connection with the "south lobby".

A provisional order for attaching the assets of Raghav Magunta and Reddy under the PMLA was issued on May 3 and the value of the assets of the two are pegged at Rs 115,06,27,753 in the ED chargesheet accessed by PTI.

The ED has also said in the chargesheet that cash amounting to about Rs 64 crore was pumped in by the AAP for its Goa Assembly election campaign from the around Rs 100 crore "kickbacks" given to the party by the "south group".

The agency has said in the chargesheet that it is yet to send the original complaint of this order to the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA for the confirmation of the provisional order.

This is the third attachment order issued by the ED in the case. It had earlier attached properties (worth more than Rs 52 crore) of former Delhi deputy chief minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia and businessman Sameer Mahandru (worth more than Rs 76 crore).

The ED has "prayed for confiscation" of all the assets worth about Rs 244 crore, attached as part of the three orders, from the court and mentioned the same in the chargesheet filed against Kavitha and four others.

Raghav Magunta and Reddy were arrested by the agency in the case and both were allowed to become approvers by the court last year.

Both are currently out on bail. Businessman Dinesh Arora is the third approver in the ED case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is also probing the case.

Raghav Magunta's father Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy is the incumbent YSRCP MP from Ongole in Andhra Pradesh. He, however, contested this year's Lok Sabha polls from the seat on a Telugu Desam Party ticket.

His fate will be known on Tuesday, when the votes polled for the general election are scheduled to be counted.

Meanwhile, Kavitha, according to her statement furnished by the ED in the chargesheet, has denied all the allegations of bribery made against her in the excise policy case.

The ED has also charged her with destruction of evidence, alleging that there was "no data" in her FaceTime and WhatsApp apps, despite "her own disclosure that she uses" these utilities.

"When confronted with these facts, K Kavitha evaded the question and did not reply to the question put," the agency has said.

"The activity of generation and transfer were carried out by K Kavitha by being involved in the payment of Rs 100 crore kickbacks to the AAP leaders," it has alleged.

On Monday, Kavitha's judicial custody was extended by the court till July 3.

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Neelabh Srivastava in New Delhi
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