Bengaluru: In a major setback to senior Karnataka Congress legislator D.K. Shivakumar, the Karnataka High Court on Friday rejected his petition for interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his alleged involvement in a money laundering case.
“We cannot modify the order after dismissing your petition for quashing the summons by the ED yesterday (Thursday) and asking you to appear before it,” said Justice Aravind Kumar of the High Court after hearing the arguments from both sides earlier in the day.
The ED has opposed Shivakumar’s petition for protection after it summoned the latter on Thursday night to appear before its investigation team in New Delhi on Friday afternoon.
On Thursday, Justice Kumar dismissed Shivakumar’s earlier petition to quash the summons the ED issued in December 2018 for questioning him on his alleged involvement in ‘hawala’ transactions in violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, and directed him to appear before it when called.
“Our senior counsel M.B. Nargund has filed objections to Shivakumar’s writ plea and requested for its dismissal as he was only summoned to appear before our investigation team in New Delhi on Friday afternoon,” an ED source told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
Fearing arrest by the ED after appearing before its investigation team in New Delhi later in the day, Shivakumar, 57, moved the High Court for interim protection.
Before adjourning the hearing to afternoon, Justice Kumar advised Shivakumar counsel B.V. Acharya to approach the ED court, as he had dismissed his client’s writ plea to quash its December 2018 summons on Thursday.
The alleged money laundering came to light after raids by the income tax sleuths at Shivakumar’s flat in New Delhi on August 2, 2017 led to seizure of unaccounted cash worth Rs 8.59 crore without evidence of its source of income.
Cases were filed against him and four others associated with him under Sections 277 and 278 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).