Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar has run into trouble again. On Thursday, the Special Court for Economic Offences in Bengaluru directed the Income Tax Department to register an FIR against the minister on allegations of destroying documents.
The I-T Department had petitioned the court stating that DK Shivakumar had destroyed documents relevant to the search and seizure operations conducted at the minister’s residence and several of his properties in Bengaluru and Chennai on August 2, 2017.
Upon hearing the I-T Department’s plea, the court directed it to register an FIR under IPC sections 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 204 (destruction of a document or electronic recording to prevent its production as evidence), and section 276 C (1) (Wilfully attempting to evade any tax, penalty or interest chargeable or imposable) of the Income Tax Act.
The court has also issued summons to DK Shivakumar to appear for a hearing on March 22.
The minister has meanwhile accused the I-T department of doing the BJP’s bidding, and has ascribed political motives to the tax men’s move to go after him.
“I am not scared of anyone. Let the case be referred to the Enforcement Directorate or the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or let them even try to send me to Parappana Agrahara (the central prison in Bengaluru), I will not bend to anyone’s will,” DK Shivakumar told the media in Bengaluru.
The minister alleged that the central government has the Income Tax Department under its thumb and that the I-T Department “has been put to task once again” because the Congress party has started the Janashivada Yatra in the run up to the Assembly elections.
“On August 2, the Income Tax raids had happened. I was just carrying out the responsibility given to me by the party and was hosting the MLAs from Gujarat. That time the I-T Department conducted the raids. Now we have started the Janashirvada Yatra, and once again, the I-T Department has come into the picture. Everyone knows that the BJP has the I-T Department under its thumb. How did the members of the parliament find out that I had torn documents? Is there any proof of this?” the Energy Minister asked.
“I believe in god and the people who have voted for me. I know that I will come out of this without any trouble,” DK Shivakumar added.
The minister said that leaders from various parties were conspiring against him, especially since the Karnataka elections are to be held within a few months.
“Jail, CBI, ED and BJP do not make me tense. They still don’t know who I am. From a small village to becoming a politician, I have come so far and succeeded. Why did the I-T Department take seven months to file the FIR? Clearly it is politically motivated. I am an honest taxpayer and even I know the law. I will never evade it,” the minister said.
BJP Karnataka President BS Yeddyurappa meanwhile said that the politics of the Congress government, “which came to power by pointing out the failures of previous governments,” is finally coming to light.
“The I-T raids conducted on DK Shivakumar’s properties and the disproportionate assets worth Rs 400 crore is not a matter to be left alone. The court has now issued a non-bailable warrant against him. In order to cover up the administrative failure and corruption in the government, the Congress had pointed out the failures of previous governments to come to power. Now the true colours of the Congress are coming out,” Yeddyurappa said.