PRAMESH S JAIN
“Trouble Shooter in Trouble “
A Delhi court sent Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody in money laundering case till September 13. The senior leader was arrested on Tuesday after being interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate over the past several days.
Family members and lawyer are allowed to meet Shivakumar for half-an-hour daily. The court also granted his personal doctor to visit him.
Known as Congress’ favoured troubleshooter in Karnataka, Shivakumar had been interrogated by the ED over the past several days – his appearence before ED on Tuesday was his fourth. By the end of the day, however, he was arrested in connection with the money laundering case being probed by the investigating agency.The ED has registered a case of money laundering on the basis of a chargesheet filed by the Income Tax Department.
At around 4.15 PM DK Shivakumar was produced before Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday and the Special ED Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhur after hearing arguments from both the counsels and Additional Solicitor General for about 1 hour and 45 minutes the Judge sent Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar to Enforcement Directorate remand till September 13.
The agency, which arrested Shivakumar on Tuesday night in connection with alleged money laundering, had sought his custody for 14 days.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi representing DK Shivakumar,however,objected to ED’s demand of 14 days custody claiming ED is behaving like a dog tail and the state is the dog.The tail cannot stand alone without the dog.AMS they have asked for 14 days thinking that if they ask for stars they will get the moon.If they ask for the moon they will get the earth.They have already taken 5 days of questioning, now they want the entire 14 days,Singhvi argued before the court.
In a video posed on his Twitter, Mr Shivakumar is seen sitting on a chair, leaning back, saying, “Political vendetta has become stronger than the law in this country.” A policeman can be seen standing behind him.
The video message on Twitter came just hours after his request to address the people of Karnataka was turned down by the court where the Enforcement Directorate was seeking his custody for 14 days. “Absolutely not,” said judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar when Mr Shivakumar’s counsel made the request.
Earlier in the day,the Enforcement Directorate had told the court that custodial interrogation was required as it wanted to confront the Congress leader with evidence.It had said that Shivakumar gave evasive replies and was non-cooperative during the investigation. There is reason to believe the accused is guilty of laundering,said the agency to court.
Shivakumar’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi had moved a bail application.
Meanwhile,there was sporadic violence during a strike called by the Congress across Karnataka on Wednesday to protest against the arrest.Meanwhile, Shivakumar was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in New Delhi.
The protesters pelted stones at 15 KSRTC buses and torched one bus in the district. A majority of the violent incidents were reported in Kanakapura, the home town of Mr. Shivakumar.Many places saw Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) workers protesting together, especially in Mandya district.
Participating in a protest in Mysuru, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah described the arrest as “vendetta politics” and said the people of the State were watching the developments and would teach a befitting lesson” to the Bharatiya Janata Party. He went on to describe the arrest as a “ploy to finish the Opposition.”
Protestors pelted stones and burnt a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation bus in Chunchi colony of Kanakapura city,Shivakumar’s constituency.The protestors also attempted to burn another bus at Harohalli depot.
At least 10 buses were vandalised in stone pelting at Sathanur on Tuesday night. The Ramanagara city police asked the KSRTC not to operate buses in the city until they provide clearance.
The Ramanagaram division of the KSRTC incurred a loss of Rs.13.71 lakh owing to the damage to buses. The services operated between Bengaluru and Mysuru and other parts such as Kollegal and Chamarajanagar were also hit from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.as protesters blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway.
All schools in Ramanagara district have been closed for the day and it will remain closed till tomorrow. Protests were held in Bengaluru,especially at major junctions like Maurya Circle,Anand Rao Circle,Tumkur Road,MG Road,Jalahalli cross,Rajajinagar near Navrang theatre.Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai spoke to Ramanagara SP,and other senior police officers to take stock of the situation and maintain law and order situation and take all adequate measures and precautionary measures and maintain peace.
Meanwhile,security at Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s house and the BJP offices in Ramanagara and Kanakapura have been beefed up.The strike will be effective in the two cities only.No bandh is being observed in the state capital Bengaluru despite protests.However, traffic on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway was affected.Traffic on the Bengaluru-Ramanagara-Mysuru road was diverted to Magadi,Huliyurdurga and Madduru.
DKS arrest evokes anger in congress ranks.
Congress leaders heap scorn on BJP leaders.
Clear case of political vendetta, says Congress.
HD Devegowda,Former Prime Minister and JD(S)Supremo,told media persons,Observing one’s father and grandmother’s death anniversary are very important.The authorities didn’t even spare a single day.This is heartless indeed he said.
The Congress said it will not be intimidated by the politics of persecution and continue to ask hard questions to the government. The party said the National Democratic Alliance government’s second term till date was characterised by “tyranny, chaos and anarchy”.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday described the arrest of Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar by the Enforcement Directorate(ED)as another example of /vendetta politics’ and alleged that the Central government was using probe agencies and a ‘pliant’ media to selectively target people.
The arrest of DK Shivakumar is another example of the vendetta politics unleashed by the government,using agencies like the ED/CBI & a pliant media to selectively target individuals,Mr.Gandhi tweeted.
What was the need to arrest Shivakumar if he cooperated with CBI, ED, IT, asks Shashi Tharoor:
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor questioned the need to arrest DK Shivakumar even though he cooperated with government agencies.How does the arrest actually help? It just sends a chilling signal to other opponents of the government.They don’t like to hear any voice from the Opposition.The government has full authority to conduct any inquiry, whether it is CBI, ED or IT,” he said.
If somebody says that I won’t cooperate and will run away, then it will be a different thing. But since the beginning, everybody knew where Shivakumar and Chidambaram were. They have cooperated throughout the inquiry. Beyond that, raids have been conducted at their offices and houses. After that this, what is need to arrest them?” Tharoor asked.
Addressing a press conference,Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari claimed that there was a complete breakdown of governance in the Narendra Modi government’s second term.He cited economic slowdown,undeclared emergency in Kashmir and the situation in Assam after the final National Register of Citizens was published.DK Shivakumar’s only crime was that he provided protection to those Congress MLAs of Gujarat who were being poached by the NDA-BJP during the Rajya Sabha elections,Tewari said.
Congress’General Secretary KC Venugopal said the arrest was a clear case of political vendetta by the fascist BJP government at the centre.Following Congress leader P Chidambaram’s arrest, another leader had been dubiously, vengefully and selectively targeted for standing up to the saffron party.Although there are well proved and explicit cases of black money transactions and money laundering during the political horse-trading in Karnataka by the BJP leaders, the central investigating agencies have not registered any cases against them,” Venugopal said. He also said that the investigating agencies were acting as puppets of the Centre.
Siddaramaiah,Former CM and CLP leader,told media persons,This smacks of political Vendetta.There was no need of arresting him did he disobey the summons for four days?Despite his explanation,they authorities claimed that he could destroy the evidence.Will they do things without informing BS Yediyurappa?The union government is engaged in this he said.
G Parameshwara,Former Deputy CM, told media persons,You could have initiated legal action if things were found to be illegal however they used I-T department and ED harrased and behaved in a manner which is not acceptable in democracy he said.
Eshwar Khandre,KPCC workong president ,told media persons,These are not independent agencies but are puppets under the BJP.They are dancing to the tunes of the BJP leaders let them probe this all this legally we have no objection to that however we are opposed to politicising the issue he said.
S Narayanaswamy,Bangarpet Congress MLA,told media persons that,A man who served a jail term has assumed charge as the union Home Minister on the pretext of protecting the nation he has control of agencies like ED and I-T department and these are dancing to his tunes where did they (BJP),get money for launching “Operation Kamala”?was all this legal money?where did the money come from he asks .
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that Shivakumar’s arrest was done to demoralise him and the party workers.As per rules,whenever Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate called him,he responded. He is cooperating,Kharge told media persons.Is he absconding? Why are they doing this? Just to harass and mentally torture him.I condemn this he said.
Congress MLA,Ramalinga Reddy appealed to Shivakumar’s supporters to maintain peace and not to vandalise public property.
Several Youth Congress workers were detained in New Delhi after they clashed with police personnel during a protest against Shivakumar’s arrest.
Karnataka Youth Congress,President BV Srinivas lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Shivakumar’s arrest. Modi has crossed all limits in his desperation to harass opposition leaders,he tweeted.Such pitiful actions are an embarrassment to the office he represents. We stand by our leader DK Shivakumar ji.”Srinivas also told that Shivakumar’s health has deteriorated due to his harassment.Doctors have advised him rest but Enforcement Directorate is trying to take him away,” Srinivas claimed.
“BJP criticises Congress’ ‘politically convenient’ remarks”
The Bharatiya Janata Party,however, rejected the Congress charges and said there was clear evidence against Shivakumar.The Congress leaders’ statements were politically convenient. said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao.He alleged that it had now become fashionable for the Congress to level charges of vendetta whenever its leaders were arrested for a financial crime.They [probe agencies] have taken all the time to really investigate the case properly and this action cannot really be termed political by any stretch of imagination,” Rao told media persons.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has said he is sad to hear about the arrest of senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar by the Enforcement Directorate. Yediyurappa said he will be very happy to see Shivakumar come out but added that the law will take its own course in the money laundering case against DK Shivakumar.BS Yediyurappa said he would be “more happy than everyone” if DK Shivakumar, a former Karnataka minister and senior Congress leader, comes clear of the charges.I pray to God that he should come out from every thing. I have neither hated any one in my life,nor have I wished bad for any one.Law will take its course.If he comes out (of the charges) I will be more happy than any one,he told reporters in Bengaluru.
Govind Karjol,Deputy CM of Karnataka told media persons,Agencies like I-T department and ED have investgated numerous cases over the last 70 years can we say that all these were politically motivated? These agencies are operating within the constitutional boundaries suggested.At the same time we hope he comes out of this he said.
Shivakumar’s lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Dayan Krishnan opposed the ED’s plea for custodial interrogation saying that he had joined the probe and never absconded.
His counsel claimed that Shivakumar has not been given food today and seemed that it is slow torture by ED.
Singhvi said the police remand is a rare exception and cannot be granted in a mechanical manner and the ED’s plea for Shivakumar’s custodial interrogation is perverse.
He was opposing the submissions of the ED which told the court that the Income Tax investigation and statement of various witnesses have revealed incriminating evidence against Shivakumar.
The probe agency claimed that he was “evasive and non-cooperative” during the probe and there was phenomenal growth in his income while he was in an important position.
Ed said his custody is required as he has to be confronted with voluminous documents and to unearth illegal properties.
Custodial interrogation of Shivakumar is necessary as some facts are in his personal knowledge,it said,adding that he tried to misguide the investigation.
It said Shivakumar’s interrogation was needed to ascertain the source of money and unearth the modus operandi and that he did not explain cash seized in a search.
Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj and advocate N K Matta are representing the ED.
Singhvi opposed the ED’s plea for custodial interrogation,saying the agency’s submission was without application of mind as Shivakumar has already been quizzed for 33 hours and he was not a flight risk.
Unless ED shows that something startling and new has happened, Shivakumar cannot be sent to its custody as he never absconded, he contended.
A bail application was also moved on behalf of Shivakumar and his counsels, including Krishnan, submitted that the whole case was based upon Income Tax search which started from August 2017, and the search leads to an I-T complaint filed on June 13, 2018.
“This is the foundation of the entire charge against me (Shivakumar).The remand application itself says Income Tax, and this is the offence with respect to which money laundering is done,Singhvi said.
He submitted that the Karnataka High Court has stayed the entire process arising out of the Income Tax case against Shivakumar and the offence under the I-T Act is compoundable (offences where the complainant enters into a compromise and agrees to have the charges dropped against the accused).
The former cabinet minister and sitting MLA from Kanakapura seat had appeared before the ED for questioning on Tuesday for the fourth time at its headquarters here.
After a long session of grilling,Shivakumar was placed under arrest as per provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar,Haumanthaiah,an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others.
Shivakumar had to appear before the ED after Karnataka High Court last week dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued to him by the agency.
The ED had filed the PMLA case against him and others based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.
Sources said that,Enforcement Directorate has got evidence about the Hawala Channel as they have tracked his Hawala networks and the both hawala operators have been approver in the case.
The ED grilled DK Shivakumar for about 32 hours in 4 days and they questioned him about his money transactions done in SBI Bank of Malleswaram Branch from the Bescom Account and another from the Rajajinagar Branch as for this the trouble shooter was shocked as they even asked about the 2000 rupees notes bundle found in his flat after the demonetisation in 2016 November as it is alleged that the ED officials have collected all the details about the Rs.8.5 Crore Unaccounted Cash Seized they have collected all the details from the bank with the currency note numbers ED sources said.
KG was the code word used in transferring Hawala Amount and it is alleged the links is with Chidambaram transactions and Ahmed Patel is also connected to this Hawala network and it was transported using Sharma Transport buses says sources.
The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of transporting a huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.