In a major setback to senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar, Delhi's Special CBI Court, on Wednesday, has dismissed his bail plea in the money laundering case filed against him. Sources report that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has argued that Shivakumar has been evasive during interrogation. They also added that the wished to confront him with several accused during his judicial custody stay in Tihar jail. Shivakumar has been lodged in judicial custody on September 19 and is set to be in Tihar Jail till October 1.
Earlier on Saturday, the Rouse Avenue Court had reserved its order on Shivakumar's bail plea after hearing the arguments. Shivakumar, a sitting MLA from Kanakapura assembly seat, was arrested by the ED on September 3 under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a money laundering case. He was then sent to 14-day judicial custody following a medical check-up on September 19. Shivakumar's arrest came just days after the high-profile arrest of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Following Shivakumar's arrest on September 3, Congress cadres in Karnataka staged several protests in the state - some turning violent. On September 5, party cadres who were protesting in Chitradurga, Karnataka ended up injuring nine of their own cadres, as per sources. Similarly, a day prior to this protest, several Congress workers had taken to the streets in Karnataka, reportedly clashing and stone-pelting on the state-owned buses. Meanwhile, the party supporters had also allegedly shut down the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway, hampering traffic. The protesters also went on a rampage ahead of Shivakumar's appearance at a Delhi Court. Several Congress leaders had alleged vendetta by the Centre, hours after Shivakumar's arrest.
The central agency had in September 2018, registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar and Haumanthaiah who was an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, among others. The criminal case was filed on the basis of a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax department against Shivakumar and others before a court in Bengaluru for alleged tax evasion and hawala dealings. The ED also quizzed his daughter Aishwarya under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). During the questioning, the ED recorded Aishwarya’s statement and confronted with documents and statements made by Shivakumar with regard to the Singapore trip, as per sources. Earlier, Sachin Narayan, Shivakumar’s business associate and a co-director in Zeus constructions Pvt Ltd till 2014 and Dollars Construction private limited, was also questioned in connection with the case.