The Enforcement Directorate questioned senior Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar for the fourth day on Tuesday in connection with an alleged money laundering case, NDTV reported. The investigating agency summoned Shivakumar on last Friday after the Karnataka High Court had rejected his plea challenging the notice sent to him.
Shivakumar’s questioning in the case went on till late on Friday night, through Saturday and continued on Monday after a break on Sunday. The Karnataka unit of the Congress condemned these actions and called it “vendetta of the worst kind”.
“What happened to cases against Mukul Roy, HB Sharma & others who joined BJP,” the Karnataka Congress asked on Twitter. “Is joining BJP the criteria for ED-CBI to target people? We condemn this bias from the enforcement agencies. There is no law of land.”
The senior Congress leader, however, had turned emotional on Monday after his request for a day’s time to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi with his family in Bengaluru was rejected. “I have not been able to perform puja for my father,” he had said. “I would celebrate Ganesh Puja with my children, but they did not allow me to do so.”
Several other Congress leaders also voiced their support for Shivakumar and said it was a political vendetta against him. They also visited Shivakumar at Karnataka Bhavan in Delhi, where he is staying. Shivakumar’s brother, DK Suresh, who is the only Congress MP from Karnataka, came to Delhi with him.
In September 2018, the Enforcement Directorate had registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar and a few other leaders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The case was registered on the basis of a chargesheet that the Income Tax Department filed against him earlier in 2018 in a special court in Bengaluru for allegedly evading tax and for alleged hawala transactions worth crores of rupees.
In late July and early August of 2017, Shivakumar managed the stay of 44 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at a resort near Bengaluru ahead of the election for a Rajya Sabha seat. The Congress had put them up at the resort to prevent them from allegedly being poached by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Shivakumar was first raided by the Income Tax Department during that time.
The Income Tax Department has filed four cases against Shivakumar based on the raids since then. Investigators are believed to have recovered more than Rs 300 crore in undisclosed income, and cash and jewellery worth nearly Rs 15 crore.
The Income Tax Department said that Shivakumar and his associate SK Sharma used to transport huge amounts of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through illegal channels with help of three other accused.
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