Ex-Karnataka Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy, on Sunday slammed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for denying Senior Congress Leader DK Shivakumar's plea to be exempted from appearing before the ED on Monday in view of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. DK Shivkumar and others are being summoned by the ED in a money laundering case filed against them. Kumaraswamy termed ED's move to summon Shivakumar on Ganesh Chaturthi as 'vindictive'.
Shivakumar, who is an ex-minister in the Congress - Janata Dal (Secular) led Karnataka government was grilled by the ED for over 4 hours on Friday and his statement was registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The former Karnataka Minister had appeared before the ED in New Delhi on Saturday for the second day in a row. HD Kumaraswamy's tweeted on Sunday calling out Enforcement Directorate attitude as vindictive.
Gowri Ganesha is an important festival for Hindus. Mr. @DKShivakumar had asked for a day to observe the festival. However, ED officials denied him even this. If this is not vindictive attitude, then what is?— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) September 1, 2019
After a day-long questioning by the ED on Saturday, Shivakumar said that he had received a summon to appear again on Monday rejecting his request for relaxation to appear as it was a festival day. While interacting with the reporters in Delhi on Saturday night, he had said that his family follows a tradition to offer prayers to their ancestors on the day of the festival.
" we requested them (the ED) stating that I have to offer my respects to the elders of the family on the day of the festival. They refused my plea and issued a summon for me to reappear before them on Monday at 11 am, I have happily accepted it," he said.
Shivakumar was asked to appear before ED after Karnataka High Court dismissed his plea challenging earlier summons by the ED. On Friday, Congress stepped in to defend DK Shivakumar and accused the BJP government of 'misusing' the investigative powers for the sake of 'taking revenge'.
The Congress party and Shivakumar have alleged that the reason behind the subsequent Income Tax (I-T) searches and ED action against the minister is due to DK Shivakumar's involvement in ensuring the safety of Gujarat Congress MLAs in a Karnataka resort during the Rajya Sabha polls of 2017 when BJP was accused of poaching the MLAs. DK Shivakumar and his associate SK Sharma have also been accused by the I-T Department of transferring huge amount of cash through 'hawala' channels.
Last September, ED registered a case of money laundering against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah (an employee of Karnataka Bhavan) in New Delhi and others. The case was filed based on a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax Department last year before a special court in Bengaluru. The latter has been accused of alleged tax evasion and hawala transaction worth crores.