Delhi HC Grants Bail to Karnataka Congress Leader DK Shivakumar
NEW DELHI : Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar walked out of Tihar Jail on Wednesday evening, hours after being granted bail by the Delhi High Court on a Rs. 25-lakh bond. However, the politician — who faces allegations of money laundering — cannot leave the country, the court has ruled.
“The Delhi High Court has granted me bail. I thank all those who have stood solidly behind me in this time of crisis. I am back,” news agency ANI quoted Mr Shivakumar as saying after his release.
, who was lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), was granted bail by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday.
Justice Suresh Kait said the Congress leader was “entitled” for grant of bail as no material has been shown to indicate that he was a flight risk. The judge added that Shivakumar, 57, cannot tamper with evidence as the documents are with the investigating agencies.
The court further said that he no longer was in power and there was no evidence to show that he or his family members or close associates attempted to influence witnesses. It directed, however, that he be released on bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 25 lakh and two sureties of like amount.
The other conditions laid down by the high court while granting him the relief include not leaving the country with the concerned trial court’s permission, making himself available for interrogation when required and not to influence the witnesses.
Shivakumar was arrested by the ED on September 3 in the money laundering case. He is lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody and had challenged the trial court’s order denying him bail in the case.
The ED had opposed his bail plea saying he was an influential person and he could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses if released. Shivakumar, a seven-time MLA in Karnataka, was booked along with Haumanthaiah — an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi– and others for alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The case was based on a charge sheet 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 or rupees.
The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of indulging in transactions involving huge amounts of unaccounted money on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.
Mr Shivakumar’s 23-year-old daughter, Aisshwarya, was also questioned by the Enforcement Directorate days after he was arrested last month. The investigators said they wanted to ask her how her net worth grew from around Rs. 1 crore in 2013 to over Rs. 100 crore in 2018, and whether the financial transactions between her and her father involved unaccounted money.
The Congress leader made national headlines in 2017 when he agreed to accommodate 44 party legislators from Gujarat at a resort to prevent them from being poached by the BJP ahead of a crucial Rajya Sabha election. Soon after, income tax officials came knocking on Mr Shivakumar’s door. Several properties linked to the Congress leader were also raided in August 2017.
(With Agency Inputs ).