Udayavni Special

HC to hear on Sep 26 Shivakumar’s plea seeking copy of his statements recorded by ED


PTI, Sep 20, 2019, 5:21 PM IST

Bengaluru/New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday said it would hear on September 26 the plea by Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar seeking copy of his statements recorded by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

Justice Brijesh Sethi fixed the matter for the next date after Shivakumar’s lawyer said the senior advocate who has to argue the case was not available.

Shivakumar, arrested by the ED on September 3, sought the court’s direction to call for the transcript of his statements recorded by an Assistant Director of the ED under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

He also sought from the court to hold that the probe agency has no jurisdiction to invoke provisions of PMLA against him.

Shivakumar, MLA from Kanakapura assembly seat, is in judicial custody till October 1 and his bail plea is pending before a trial court here.

In his plea before the high court, he claimed that the statement under Section 50 of the PMLA could only be recorded by the Director of the ED and the statement recorded by any other officer in Shivakumar’s case be removed from the records.

He said that in no manner he can be linked to money laundering as contemplated under the PMLA and alleged that the ED officers “for extraneous reasons, are trying to impute criminality into the same, so as to harass him”.

The proceedings initiated against Shivakumar are “laced with bias” at the behest of the ED officials, the plea alleged, adding that the investigation was conducted with “political bias”.

The trial court had earlier allowed ED to interrogate the politician in custody, saying the allegations made against him were serious in nature.

The ED has also questioned Shivakumar’s daughter Aishwarya, a management graduate, and her statement was recorded under PMLA.

According to sources, she was also confronted with documents and statements made by Shivakumar with regard to a trip to Singapore he made with her in 2017. Aishwarya is a trustee in an education trust floated by her father.

The ED had alleged that the trust, holding assets and businesses worth crores of rupees, operates a number of engineering and other colleges and Aishwarya is the main person behind them.

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.

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

The ED had filed the PMLA case against him and others 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.

The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.

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