Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Delhi court reserves order on Shivakumar's ED custody

The ED told the court that an income tax investigation and statements of various witnesses had revealed "incriminating evidence" against Shivakumar

By The Telegraph in New Delhi
  • Published 4.09.19, 6:35 PM
  • Updated 4.09.19, 6:35 PM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Shivakumar was arrested on Tuesday night. (PTI)

The ED told the court that an income tax investigation and statements of various witnesses had revealed "incriminating evidence" against Shivakumar

A Delhi court on Wednesday reserved its order on an Enforcement Directorate plea seeking 14-day custodial interrogation of Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar, who is arrested in a money laundering case.

Shivakumar, who was arrested on Tuesday night and was produced before special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar.

The ED told the court that an income tax investigation and statements of various witnesses had revealed "incriminating evidence" against Shivakumar. The agency claimed that the Congress leader was "evasive and non-cooperative" during the investigation and there was phenomenal growth in his income while he held an important position.

It said his custody was required as Shivakumar had to be confronted with voluminous documents and to unearth his illegal properties. The agency added that he tried to misguide the investigation. Additional solicitor-general K.M. Natraj and advocate N.K. Matta were representing the ED.

The agency also said Shivakumar's interrogation was necessary to ascertain the source of money and unearth the modus operandi. It added that he did not also explain the cash seized during the search.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was representing the Congress leader along with Dayan Krishnan, opposed the ED’s plea for custodial interrogation, saying that the agency’s submission was without any application of mind” as Shivakumar had already been questioned for 33 hours and that he was not a flight risk.

Unless the ED shows that something startling and new has happened, Shivakumar cannot be sent to its custody as he has never absconded, Singhvi said.

A bail application moved on behalf of Shivakumar and his counsel submitted that the whole case was based upon an income tax search which started in August 2017 and the search led to an I-T complaint filed on June 13, 2018.

"This is the foundation of the entire charge against me (Shivakumar). The remand application itself says income tax, and this is the offence with respect to which money laundering is done," Singhvi said.

The former cabinet minister and sitting MLA from Kanakapura seat had appeared before the ED for questioning on Tuesday for the fourth time at its headquarters here.

After a long session of grilling, Shivakumar was placed under arrest as per the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar and Hanumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, among others.

Shivakumar had to appear before the ED after Karnataka High Court last week dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued to him by the agency.

The ED had filed the case against Shivakumar and others based on a chargesheet filed by the income tax department against them last year in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.