PMLA case: DK Shivakumar grilled for 5 hours at ED

PMLA case: DK Shivakumar grilled for 5 hours at ED

D K ShivaKumar arrives at ED office on Friday evening. (DH Photo)

Hours after Karnataka High Court refused to grant him relief, senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar on Friday evening appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and was questioned for about five hours in connection with a money-laundering probe against him.

Officials said they have summoned him to record his statement under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Shivakumar, who has been asked to report again at ED office at 11 am Saturday, left the ED office around 11.45 pm. 

He refused to tell reporters what he told the ED, saying they should ask the agency about what he told them.

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After landing in Delhi from Bengaluru, he first went to Karnataka Bhavan and then to his brother and Congress MP D K Suresh's residence. From Suresh's residence, he left for the ED accompanied by Suresh and Youth Congress national interim president B V Srinivas and reached the ED office at around 6:30 PM.

While his questioning was continuing when the report was filed, JD(S) leader L R Shivaramee Gowda and Congress MLA H D Ranganath also reached the ED office in a show of support.

"It is my duty to appear. I have to respect the law. We are law-makers and law abiding citizens. They have summoned me. I don't know why they have called me under PMLA. But, let me see, hear them. I am ready to face them (ED)," Shivakumar told reporters here before entering the ED office here.

Earlier in the day in Bengaluru, he told a press conference that the ED's fresh summons asking him to appear before it in a money laundering case was a "conspiracy" to defame him and his party.

He also said his "instrumental role" in ensuring safe stay of Gujarat Congress MLAs in a Karnataka resort during the Rajya Sabha polls in 2017 was the reason for the I-T searches and subsequent ED action of the central agencies against him.

The ED had issued him a fresh summons on Thursday night to appear before it on Friday, after a single bench of Karnataka High Court refused to entertain his petition to quash the summons issued to him by the ED.

Shivakumar again approached the High Court on Friday seeking prevention of his arrest after the fresh summons, but did not get relief.

Last September, the ED had registered a case against Shivakumar as well as Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan, and his associates Narayan, S K Sharma and N Rajendra.

The ED case has been filed based on a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax Department against him last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores. The IT Department had also seized unaccounted money worth around Rs 8.59 crore from him.

The IT Department had then accused Shivakumar and his associate S K Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with help of three other accused.

It had claimed that Shivakumar had set up "an extensive network" of persons and premises across Delhi and Bengaluru in order to transport and utilise unaccounted cash.