DK Shivakumar
DK Shivakumar

‘Paying the price for speaking up’: DK Shivakumar on ED action against him

The Enforcement Directorate questioned DK Shivakumar in over payments by him and his brother to Young Indian, the owner company of the Congress-promoted National Herald.

The Enforcement Directorate on Monday, September 19, recorded the statement of Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar for about six hours in connection with a second money laundering case being probed against him. The 60-year-old Congress leader said the agency asked him about payments made by him and his brother to Young Indian, the owner company of Congress promoted newspaper National Herald. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her MP son Rahul Gandhi, apart from some other Congress leaders, have been questioned by the ED over the last few months in the National Herald money laundering case.

While exiting the ED office in the evening, he told the media that he has been charge-sheeted by the agency in one money laundering case, however, he denied allegations of money laundering in this case. "Surprisingly, they (ED officials) have asked me about the payment from one of my trusts, from me and my brother, to Young Indian," he told reporters. He said he sought more time from the agency to furnish details about his assets and liabilities to them. The former Karnataka minister said he believed in the "law system" and knew that he will get justice. "I have faith in the judicial system of India. One day I will be proven innocent of all charges. The political vendetta and harassment against me is the price I am paying for speaking up for the people of Karnataka, for speaking about issues such as unemployment and price rise," he later tweeted.

The agency had issued him summons last week in the second money laundering case after taking cognisance of a 2020 CBI case linked to the alleged possession of disproportionate assets. The CBI case was filed against Shivakumar and his family members on the allegations of possession of disproportionate assets worth Rs 74.93 crore. The Congress leader, after receiving the latest ED summons, had said he was not aware of the case for which he had been asked to appear before the agency. "In the midst of the #BharatJodoYatra and the Assembly session, they have again issued me an ED summons to appear. I am ready to cooperate but the timing of this summon and the harassment I am put through, is coming in the way of discharging my constitutional and political duties," Shivakumar tweeted on September 15.

On September 3, 2019, the ED had arrested Shivakumar in another money laundering case and the Delhi High Court granted him bail in October that year. In May this year, the agency filed a charge sheet against him and some others linked to him in the case. It was registered after taking cognisance of a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them in 2018 before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores of rupees.

The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associates of transporting huge amounts of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with the help of three other accused.

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