Shivakumar hits out at I-T dept over gifting phones

Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar at AICC headquarters. (PTI Photo)

Former minister and Congress leader D K Shivakumar on Sunday lashed out at investigating agencies for serving notices on him for gifting phones to a few MPs, including some from the BJP, and not on those who received the devices.

Shivakumar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on September 3 in an alleged money laundering case and was in judicial custody at the Tihar Jail.

On Saturday, he returned to a rousing welcome from Delhi to Bengaluru after getting bail.

Holding a press conference at the party office on Sunday, Shivakumar said, As Irrigation Minister I had to deal with certain issues. Some people asked me to give them some latest phones, which I gave. Immediately I received a notice from the I-T department."

"Following the notice, I showed expenditure from the personal account, not from any other," he said.

He said barring three persons, all other people whom he gifted phones had accepted them.

"All those who gave statements (against me) have received phones from me. The notice should also be served to them, isn't it? Shouldn't notice be served on all those who received gifts above Rs 50,000? But I don't want to raise that issue," he said.

"I don't want to go to that level, a peeved Shivakumar told reporters.

The former minister said he was under watch and his every step was closely monitored.

This is only an example of how I was tortured. It has been going on for the past year. I will bring these facts up in some forum. I will have to bring it to the knowledge of people, but at an appropriate time, Shivakumar said.

Shivakumar said he should be liable to punishment if he has done anything wrong. He claimed he never committed any and was ready to contest the allegations.

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