Case result of political rivalry, not enough evidence against me: DKShi tells Delhi HC

Team Udayavani, Oct 15, 2019, 7:47 PM IST

New Delhi/Bengaluru: Congress leader D K Shivakumar, arrested in a money laundering case, on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that the matter was a result of political rivalry and there was not enough evidence against him.

The court was hearing his bail plea.

Shivakumar’s counsel also sought relief on medical grounds, saying his client underwent angiography procedure in September and has been in custody for the last 45 days. He said his client should not be kept in jail for so many days.

Justice Suresh Kait heard the arguments of the Congress leader’s counsel and listed the matter for the submissions of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on October 17.

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

The case was based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and ‘hawala’ transactions worth crores.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing Shivakumar, said the money laundering case was a result of political rivalry.

He said it was a case only under the Income Tax Act but the ED added the provision of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code just to make it a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and to justify the arrest.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, also appearing for Shivakumar, argued there was no evidence against him except under the provisions under the I-T Act which are compoundable.

He said Shivakumar is a seven-time MLA in Karnataka and was not a flight risk as he has deep roots in the society and has also joined the investigation.

Shivakumar, arrested in a case under the PMLA by the ED, has approached the high court challenging the trial court’s order denying him bail.

The high court had earlier issued notice to the probe agency, asking it to file a status report.

Shivakumar had contended that it is a case based on documentary evidence and there is no ground to keep him in custody as he has no criminal antecedents.

Denying him bail, the trial court had said he was an influential person and if he is released at a crucial stage of the investigation, he might influence witnesses or tamper with documents.

The trial court had perused the Congress leader’s medical report and noted that although he had undergone angiography, his condition was stable and he was advised medication.

The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of indulging in transactions involving huge amounts of unaccounted money on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.

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