HC grants liberty to DKS to seek time extension from ED

HC grants liberty to DKS to seek time extension from ED

D K Shivakumar

The Karnataka High Court has reserved liberty to Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar to file an application before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking extension of time to appear in person before the ED.

The court said the ED shall consider the said application when it is filed.

Justice Aravind Kumar was hearing a petition filed by Shivakumar, who has moved the court challenging the prosecution launched against him by the Income Tax (I-T) department for wilfully attempting to evade tax and filing false I-T statement.

Shivakumar has also challenged the summons issued on January 17 by the assistant director, ED, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, requiring his personal appearance along with documents on February 8. According to him, the entire proceedings launched against him are without jurisdiction and needs to be quashed.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, who appeared on behalf of Shivakumar, contended that ED could investigate only scheduled offences under the PMLA Act. The ED has no jurisdiction to investigate I-T offences, he said.

He added that there were basic flaws in the proceedings initiated by the investigating agencies and sought for stay of the same. The court adjourned the hearing of the case to February 22.

The I-T department had conducted searches at Shivakumar’s residences in Bengaluru and New Delhi on August 2, 2017. Based on this, the I-T department gave sanction to prosecute Shivakumar under Section 276 (1) (wilfull evasion of tax/penalty) and 277 (false statement on verification) of the I-T Act, 1961 and 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of IPC.