Former Water Resources Minister and senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar’s daughter Aisshwarya appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning on Thursday. The ED had issued summons to her on Tuesday.
Aisshwarya’s questioning comes just a day before the Enforcement Directorate’s custody of DK Shivakumar ends. Aisshwarya, who is a business management graduate, arrived at the ED office in New Delhi with Kunigal MLA Dr Ranganath at around 10.50 am on Thursday.
Enforcement Directorate officials say that they will question her regarding a trust fund that was set up in her name and also regarding her drastic increase in wealth between 2013 and 2018. Ahead of the 2018 Karnataka State Assembly Elections, DK Shivamkumar had declared that Aisshwarya, owns assets worth Rs 108 crore. In 2013, she had assets worth only Rs 1.09 crore. The massive jump in Aisshwarya’s wealth had raised eyebrows and DK Shivakumar had said that the 23-year-old was not dependent on his income, and that he was still declaring her assets as per the Representation of People Act.
She is also the Vice Chairperson for the Appollo National Public School, in which DK Shivakumar is an investor.
“We are questioning her regarding the property she bought in Soul Space Spirit Mall in Bellandur. Shivakumar has stated that she received loans from him and his friends. We want to know if black money was being laundered here. Aisshwarya had also gone with her father for a trip to Singapore one month before the Income Tax searches on Shivakumar’s properties (in August 2017). Father and daughter had made a deal with Coffee Day and we believe that the black money he possesses was invested in VG Siddhartha’s business and also Soul Space,” an ED source alleged. VG Siddhartha was the Coffee Day founder, who was recently found dead.
The Enforcement Directorate arrested DK Shivakumar on September 3 after four day of questioning. Shivakumar has been accused of setting up hawala networks to launder money. The ED began probing DK Shivakumar’s alleged money laundering activities after the Income Tax Department had found Rs 8.86 crore at DK Shivakumar’s residence in New Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave in August 2017.
Dk Shivakumar had applied for bail at a New Delhi court on September 4, a day after his arrest. Assistant Solicitor General KM Nataraj and Amit Mahajan, the ED”s standing counsel appearing for the prosecution, sought 14 days custody of Shivakumar, claiming that the former minister was evasive during questioning. They argued that statements given by witnesses had revealed incriminating evidence against DK Shivakumar and that there was a need for further custodial interrogation.