Karnataka High Court, on Thursday, rejected petition filed by Congress senior leader DK Shivakumar to squash the summons issued by Enforcement Directorate in Delhi to personally appear for questioning in the money laundering case. On January 17, ED had sent summons to DK Shivakumar to appear in front of them before February 8 to answer queries regarding cases filed against him and four others including his family members. Just four days before the ED deadline, DK Shivakumar, on the February 4 had approached the Karnataka High Court with a petition to quash the summons.
The petition also questioned the sanction granted by the Principal Director of Income Tax (Investigation) on May 28, 2018 for prosecution. The petition contested that the Principal Director had no jurisdiction nor authority to grant sanction in the case. And basis this, the petition additionally challenged the special court of economic offences’s decision to take cognisance of offences. The Karnataka HC bench headed by Justice Arvind Kumar took cognisance of the allegation that over Rs 8.5 crores of unaccounted for cash was found in DK Shivakumar’s residence in Safdarjung Road in Delhi and said that the allegations were grave and the former Karnataka minister should join the ED enquiry.
Starting on August 3, the IT department had conducted raids across 60 locations in Karnataka and Delhi on residences and offices of DK Shivakumar, his family and business associates. The raids, which involved multiple teams of the IT department, lasted over four days. In June, 2018, the IT department filed a chargesheet against DK Shivakumar and four others accusing him of wilfully attempting to evade tax, filing false income tax statements under IT act. It also filed charges of criminal conspiracy under Section 120B of the IPC and accused him of transporting huge amounts of unaccounted cash through hawala channels along with two others.
In March, 2019, the ED submitted to the Karnataka HC enforcement case information report (ECIR) filed against DK Shivakumar. It informed the HC that no properties of the accused have been attached or seized by the agencies and they were already in possession of documents related to the case. They submitted that they were merely asking the accused to answer questions by personal appearance.
Reacting to the HC verdict, party colleagues of DK Shivakumar came out in his support. KPCC President Dinesh Gundurao responded by saying ‘I'm not going to comment on the court's decision but the BJP government has abused the central investigating agencies.We have seen the politics of hate practiced by BJP government in case of P Chidambaram. The central government is afraid of Congress leaders. Let the investigation take place’.