Congress leader DK Shivakumar’s Health First Priority”, Says Court

Shivakumar-daughter-696x392NEW DELHI : A court here on Friday sent Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar to judicial custody till September 17 in a money laundering case. Shivakumar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the night of September 3. His nine-day custodial interrogation expired on Friday. The court had on September 4 sent him to ED custody till today.
However, the court told the ED that it should take care of Shivakumar’s medical requirements first and only then ask him questions. “Yesterday, the (blood pressure) reading was 200/140, which is very high. Whether he is out or in, he should be in hospital… With his blood pressure shooting up, can’t this man take a break?” he said.
The Congress leader was produced before special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, with the ED seeking a five-day extension for custodial interrogation. The former Karnataka minister’s health should be the first priority for the probe agency.  “His medical condition should be taken care of before questioning him,” the judge told the Joint Director of the Enforcement Directorate.
The probe agency had asked for Mr Shivakumar’s custody to be extended for five days, claiming in court that he had been giving “evasive replies” during questioning. “As per the probe against DK Shivakumar, tainted money is more than Rs. 200 crore and there is Rs. 800 crore worth ”benami” property”, Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj said
The probe agency told court that Shivakumar was evasive and gave irrelevant answers during the interrogation, and many of his properties are ‘benami’.”As per probe against Shivakumar, tainted money is more than Rs 200 crore and there is Rs 800 crore worth ‘benami’ property,” Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj told the court, adding that the ED needs to confront the Congress leader with voluminous documents it has collected in the case.

The ED told the court that Shivakumar was withholding information which was solely in his knowledge.”I am sure he won’t answer questions in the next five days either. Why do you need his custody,” the judge asked ED, to which the agency replied there are statements by some other accused and Shivakumar needs to be confronted with that.The court had allowed ED to interrogate the politician in custody, saying the allegations made against him were serious in nature.
Meanwhile, Shivakumar’s daughter Aishwarya had appeared before the ED on Thursday in connection with its money-laundering probe against him, the ED officials had said. The 22-year-old management graduate was questioned and her statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
According to sources, she was also confronted with documents and statements made by Shivakumar with regard to a trip to Singapore he made with her in 2017. Aishwarya is a trustee in an education trust floated by her father.
The former Cabinet minister and MLA from Kanakapura seat had appeared before the ED for questioning on September 3 for the fourth time at its headquarters here. After a long session of grilling, Shivakumar, 57, was placed under arrest as per PMLA provisions.

The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others. Shivakumar had to appear before the ED after Karnataka High Court last week dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued to him by the agency.

The ED had filed the PMLA case against him and others based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.
The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate SK Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.
(With Agency Inputs ).








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