What's next for Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar? Arrest likely if ED joins probe

Income Tax raids on DK Shivakumar continued on Friday.
What's next for Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar? Arrest likely if ED joins probe
What's next for Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar? Arrest likely if ED joins probe
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The possibility of Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar courting arrest looms large with the Enforcement Directorate likely to probe the minister following two days of raids by Income Tax officials.

“The I-T department will not arrest any person. Arrests can only be made after the ED joins the probe, which now looks almost certain,” a source in the I-T Department told The New Indian Express.  

The Hindu reported that officials have also ordered freezing of several bank accounts. Sleuths are also verifying documents to check if there are grounds to prosecute him underthe Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016, the report said.

The raids on 64 properties including commercial establishments belonging to DK Shivakumar and his associates have been carried out since Wednesday morning and continue on Friday. I-T officials are yet to give an official statement on the amount of money recovered from the raids but sources claim that close to Rs 10 crore of unaccounted cash has been recovered.

However, The Times of India quoted one of his family member saying, "Truth has prevailed. They have not managed to get anything from us" after a panchnama document drawn on August 2 showed that no money had been recovered from his Sadashivanagar residence. However, an I-T official told ToI that the panchanama was drawn up for the minister's brother DK Suresh’s office at Sadashivanagar.  

Deccan Herald reported that he was grilled by I-T officials in connection with some solar equipment companies.

The taxmen reportedly found a note which suggests that Rs 3 crore money was sent to Congress High Command through hawala channels.

Meanwhile, searches by the taxmen have revealed that he has undisclosed investments in Singapore and other foreign locations, added the DH report.

Shivakumar also reportedly declined to give the password of an electronic locker containing investment documents.

The Energy Minister was the man in charge of hosting 44 Gujarat MLAs, who were flown into Bengaluru last Saturday. The MLAs, who are staying at the Eagleton Golf Resorts on the outskirts of Bengaluru were flown in to prevent poaching by the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat on August 8.

I-T officials carried out a raid at Eagleton resort, where Shivakumar had stayed on Wednesday morning after returning from Delhi. Later on Wednesday, he was brought to his residence for questioning by tax sleuths.

The Congress has maintained that Shivakumar was targeted for hosting the Gujarat MLAs. However, the I-T Department issued a statement denying that the raid was in connection with the Gujarat MLAs and had stated that the searches were planned well in advance.

While the Congress has backed Shivakumar and accused the BJP of a witch-hunt and political venedetta, there is speculation that CM Siddaramaiah is considering re-opening cases against BJP leaders and even met officials of the Anti-corruption Bureau.

Incidentally, this is not the first controversy surrounding one of the richest ministers of the country.

He had been issued notices by the Karnataka High Court over alleged granite mining and he was also probed over a land grabbing case.

Also read: Who is Congress leader DK Shivakumar? A look at the rise of one of India's richest ministers


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