HC refuses to stay ED summons to DK Shivakumar

HC refuses to stay ED summons to DK Shivakumar

Congress leader DK Shivakumar. File photo

In a major setback to former minister and senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday dismissed his petition seeking quashing of summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.

Following the ruling, the ED issued a notice to Shivakumar, asking him to appear before it on Friday. 

Dismissing the petitions filed by Shivakumar and four others, a single judge bench of Justice Aravind Kumar observed the petitioners cannot claim exemption under Article 226 of the Constitution as the investigation agencies have strong vigilance power under the money laundering law.

“The income tax officials have already registered cases against the accused under various provisions of IPC. Based on this, ED officials have also registered Enforcement case Investigation Report (ECIR). Hence, the petition does not have merit to be heard by the court at this juncture,” the Bench observed.

The court also pointed that the accused had already accepted the show-cause notice in the case and they may appear before the investigating officer along with relevant documents to defend themselves.

“As the case has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (2002), there is no necessity for a separate case under section 120 (B) of the IPC,” the bench observed.

The High Court’s decision on the petition has left the Congress’ ‘trouble shooter’ in deep trouble. Political circles are abuzz with speculation that Shivakumar and others could be arrested by the investigating agencies in the case. 

As soon as the verdict was pronounced, Shivakumar appeared to be upset and held discussions with senior advocates, who reportedly guided him to appeal against the verdict before the divisional bench of the High Court.

Sources close to the minister also revealed to DH that the former minister is likely to appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court on Friday.

Income Tax officials had raided the properties of DK Shivakumar in Bengaluru and New Delhi on August 2, 2017 and had seized unaccounted cash worth over Rs 8.59 cr.

The ED had issued summons to Shivakumar to appear for questioning in connection with the I-T raids.

Cases have been registered under Section 277 and 278 of the Income Tax Act of 1961 and Sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the IPC against DK Shivakumar, Sachin Narayana, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah and Rajendra.