In a setback to Karnataka Congress leader and former minister DK Shivakumar, the Karnataka High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea seeking interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Earlier, the former minister was asked by the Enforcement Directorate to appear before it in Delhi on Friday afternoon in connection with a money-laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate had summoned him last night after his petition challenging the summons was rejected by the Karnataka High Court yesterday.
DK Shivakumar had moved the High Court after the ED summoned him to appear before its investigation team in New Delhi in connection with the case filed against him in 2018 for the alleged violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“Have received a summons from ED late yesterday (Thursday) night asking me to appear at 1.00 pm today (Friday),” tweeted Shivakumar.
Shivkumar is now expected to move to the Supreme Court.
The alleged money laundering by DK Shivakumar came to light after raids by the tax officials on August 2, 2017, on Shivakumar’s residence in New Delhi, which led to the seizure of unaccounted cash worth Rs.8.59 crore without evidence of its source of income.
The tax agencies had filed cases against Shivakumar and four other persons associated with him under Sections 277 and 278 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Basing on the charge sheet filed by the I-T officials, the ED had last year booked a money laundering and hawala transaction case in September last year.
Along with DK Shivakumar, his business associates Sachin Narayan, Sunil Kumar Sharma (owners of Sharma Travels) were also booked and Anjaneya Hanumant and Rajendran, the employees of Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, where the cash was found, have also been named as the co-accused.
Rajendran is a caretaker of Karnataka Bhavan and also works for Sharma, the proprietor of Sharma Travels, which runs a luxury bus service. According to the ED, DK Shivakumar and SK Sharma had set up a hawala network to launder money from New Delhi to various parts of the country. The ED suspects that Hanumanthaiah, the employee of Karnataka Bhavan, was responsible for storing the unaccounted money.
Shivkumar has been arguing that the case against him is an I-T department case and ED has nothing to do with it.
Last year, the BJP had released documents of various witnesses alleging that hawala money transportation took place from Chandni Chowk to the Congress headquarters at Akbar Road in New Delhi. The BJP had accused Congress President Rahul Gandhi of his involvement in the money laundering and said that the documents show that money trail from the state went to the Congress’ headquarters at Akbar Road.