ED Arrests Congress Troubleshooter Shivakumar
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) here on Tuesday arrested former Karnataka Minister and senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar, considered the party’s troubleshooter, in a money laundering case.
He was arrested after questioning for the fourth time, a senior ED official told IANS. Shivakumar will be presented at a city court where the ED is expected to seek a five-day remand.
The official said the Congress leader was evasive and non-cooperative with the agency on questions related to his investments, shell companies and properties. The agency has grilled Shivakumar for over 29 hours since Friday.
On several occasions, he tried to delay the interrogation by not replying to questions on links with persons in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area to whom the bag full of cash was sent, the official said.
The Congress leader remained evasive about the source of money recovered from his residence in Delhi and premises in Bengaluru in 2017 by the Income Tax Department.
Shivakumar was instrumental in keeping the Gujarat Congress MLAs from being poached in 2017 ahead of the Rajya Sabha election. He had arranged for their stay at a luxury resort in Karnataka.
Ahmed Patel, the Congress candidate, won the vote narrowly.
He also shepherd MLAs in Karnataka during the coalition government of the Janata Dal-Secular and the Congress and held talks with the rebel MLAs.
Shivakumar first time deposed before the ED on Friday after the Karnataka High Court rejected his plea for interim protection from arrest by the financial probe agency.
He was on the radar of the I-T Department and the ED since demonetisation in 2016. An I-T search at his New Delhi flat on August 2, 2017 led to seizure of Rs 8.59 crore unaccounted cash.
The I-T Department lodged cases against him and his four associates under sections 277 and 278 of the I-T Act, 1961 and sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Based on the I-T Department charge sheet, the ED registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others.
The Congress, as well as Shivakumar has accused Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa of indulging in vindictive politics by targeting him and other opposition leaders.