A special court in Delhi on Wednesday dismissed Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar’s bail application in connection with a money laundering case, PTI reported. Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar dismissed the petition to grant relief to Shivakumar, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail till October 1.
The Enforcement Directorate’s counsel, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, challenged the bail plea saying that the Congress leader had not revealed the source of 317 bank accounts and assets worth crores owned by him and his family. The lawyer also claimed that a huge amount of agricultural income had been transferred to Shivakumar’s bank accounts, but there were no significant agricultural expenditure, according to Live Law.
The agency contended that Shivakumar was accumulating wealth and assets that was disproportionate to his income on record. The solicitor general said that payment of income taxes with “tainted money” could not absolve the Congress leader of liability under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Bar and Bench reported.
However, Mukul Rohatgi, representing Shivakumar, said the accused did not meet the triple test for denial of bail. He also argued that the Congress leader was a seven-time MLA and a public figure, so there was no flight risk or that of evidence tampering.
Lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, also representing Shivakumar, cited the politician’s ill health as grounds for bail. Shivakumar had been diagnosed with hypertension, high blood pressure, had complained of chest pain, and had high fever, the counsel added.
The Karnataka politician’s counsel alleged that since the investigating agency was unable to invoke PMLA for the charges under the Income Tax Act, it had imposed a criminal conspiracy charge instead. Last week, the Enforcement Directorate had told the court that Shivakumar could influence witnesses in the case.
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 was arrested by the agency on September 3.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.