Delhi 'Liquor Scam': What ED Charge Sheet Says About BRS Leader K Kavitha's Role

K Kavitha is MLC of Telangana's BRS party and the daughter of the state's CM K Chandrashekar Rao.

Delhi 'Liquor Scam': What ED Charge Sheet Says About BRS Leader K Kavitha's Role
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a second charge sheet in connection with their investigation into the Delhi excise policy (2021-'22) case and Telangana's ruling party Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha's alleged role is elaborately discussed in the legal document.

What's Kavitha, who is also the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, accused of?


In a nutshell: Kavitha and three others – YSR Congress Party MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, Raghav Magunta, and Sharath Reddy – who form, what the ED has called, 'South Group,' are accused of paying, through proxies, Rs 100 crore to Vijay Nair, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communication head and alleged proxy for Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia.

According to the charge sheet, the bribe was allegedly paid to run wholesale liquor business in Delhi, through proxies, to reap huge profits made feasible by the AAP government's excise policy of 2021-'22, the content of which was leaked to select businesses even before it was passed by a Group of Ministers (GoM).

K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, is named in Delhi liquor scam case.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)


How did the alleged scam work? The Delhi liquor policy 2021-22 allowed each wholesaler to reap at least 12 percent and each retailer 185 percent in profits. The policy, which mandated that each manufacturer should do business with just one wholesaler at a time, allowed formation of a money laundering, manufacturer-wholesaler run, liquor cartel, the ED has accused.

According to ED, Delhi liquor business was rigged by the AAP government which allegedly favoured some liquor businesses over others in exchange of kickbacks.

How does Kavitha figure in this? According to ED, Kavitha allegedly had indirect stake in Indo Spirits, a Delhi based liquor wholesaler, whose owner Sameer Mahandru is an accused in the case. The South Group, which included Kavitha, allegedly had about 65 percent stake in Indo Spirits, through proxies including Kavitha's alleged associate and Hyderabad businessman Arun Pillai.

Indo Spirits then got the business of Pernod Picard India, the biggest liquor manufacturer in India. This deal was allegedly facilitated by Vijay Nair, who was paid Rs 100 crore which was "channeled illegally" to AAP leaders, the charge sheet claimed. The profits obtained by this manufacturer-wholesaler nexus was then used to cover the bribe allegedly paid by South Group to AAP.

Key allegation against South Group: According to ED, apart from 65 percent stake in Indo Spirits, the South Group also had control over nine liquor retail zones, thereby allowing them to control 30 percent of Delhi's liquor market.

What is the evidence against Kavitha? ED's case is lean when it comes to evidence, as allegations against Kavitha are based on confession statements made by three accused in the case:

  1. Sameer Mahandur, owner of Indo Spirits, who claimed to have given 65 percent stake in his company to South Group.

  2. Dinesh Arora, Delhi businessman who claimed to have been an associate of AAP's Sunil Nair.

  3. Arun Pillai, Hyderabad businessman who claimed to have been Kavitha's associate.

While the ED had questioned Kavitha in connection with the case in December 2022, so far the investigating agency has not named her as an accused in the case.

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