Sonia Gandhi visited DK Shivakumar, the senior Congress leader, who is locked up in Tihar jail under Enforcement Directorate (ED) judicial custody pertaining to a money laundering case. Sonia Gandhi's second visit to Tihar on Wednesday morning comes after the Congress interim chief along with former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh met with P. Chidambaram in the same prison on September 23.
On Monday, former Karnataka ally HD Kumaraswamy met Shivakumar in Tihar, further claimed that his visit was "personal" and cited "political vengeance" over the Congress leader's arrest. Kumaraswamy said, "Political issues are different and personal equation is different. This is my personal visit. He is facing political vengeance, I was here to give confidence to him. He is mentally very strong and will fight all this."
Last week, a Delhi Court extended Shivakumar's judicial custody till October 25. Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar sent Shivakumar to further judicial custody on the ED's plea after the accused did not oppose it.
The ED case against DK Shivakumar is based on the charge sheet filed by the Income Tax (I-T) department in 2018. Essentially, the I-T department raided 60 properties of Shivakumar and his associates in August 2017. It recovered nearly Rs 8.59 crore of cash at four of his premises in Delhi. The I-T department accused him of regularly transporting unaccounted cash through the Hawala network with the help of his four associates namely, Sachin Narayan, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah and N Rajendran.
These associates were booked for abetment of false returns and giving false evidence. According to the I-T department, the Congress leader was instrumental in setting up a web of persons in Delhi and Bengaluru to transport and utilize the unaccounted cash. All of them were accused of tax evasion too. After the Karnataka High Court dismissed Shivakumar’s plea for quashing the ED summons on August 29, he was interrogated for 4 straight days. Thereafter, he was formally arrested. His brother and Member of Parliament DK Suresh too has been summoned by the ED. DK Shivakumar has called his arrest "political vendetta".