A special court in New Delhi on Saturday said it would pronounce its verdict on Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar’s bail plea on September 25, ANI reported. The court reserved its order in the case earlier in the day.

In September 2018, the Enforcement Directorate had registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar on the basis of a chargesheet filed by the Income Tax Department in a special court in Bengaluru. He was accused of evading tax and involvement in alleged hawala transactions worth crores of rupees. Shivakumar, who was arrested by the agency on September 3, is in Tihar Jail at present.

On September 17, the court sent Shivakumar to judicial custody till October 1. The Enforcement Directorate told the court of Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar it was not done questioning Shivakumar, and sought permission to interrogate him in judicial custody.

Last week, the Enforcement Directorate had told the court that Shivakumar could influence witnesses in the case, ANI reported. Opposing his bail plea, the agency had said it was likely that Shivakumar would hamper the investigation.

Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj, who appeared for the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday, said documents and other material recovered during the investigation showed that the Congress leader was guilty of commissioning a crime. The source of the laundered money and the proceeds of crime were being investigated, he added. The directorate reiterated that Shivakumar was in the habit of influencing witnesses.

“The probe is underway and it is at a crucial stage,” said the agency’s counsel. “He was non-cooperative and evasive during the interrogation. Article 20 and 21 [of Constitution] grant right to silence but it cannot be done for non-cooperation.”

Advocates Amit Mahajan and Nitesh Rana, who also represented the investigating agency, said Shivakumar’s offence was of a serious nature and might endanger national security. The Congress leader’s lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Mukul Rohatgi denied all the allegations.

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