ED files chargesheet against K’taka Cong chief Shivakumar, others

New Delhi, May 26 (Bureau) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed a chargesheet against Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar and others in an alleged money laundering case. “The chargesheet has been filed under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before a Delhi court. It has been filed before Special Judge Vikas Dhull of the Rouse Avenue Court,” Official sources in ED told a section of media here. ED claimed that the charge sheet was filed against him and other accused as they found no account of Shivakumar’s assets worth Rs 859 crore. The money laundering twist came to the fore in one of the raids conducted by income tax officials on Shivakumar’s residence and his properties.

In August 2017 raids, the income tax officials had unearthed and seized an unaccounted cash worth Rs 8.59 crore that was found in Shivakumar’s New Delhi residence. The income tax department had accused Shivakumar for allegedly transfering unaccounted cash through the Hawala network with the help of his associates Sachin Narayan, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah and N Rajendran, who have also been accused of tax evasion. On 3 September 2019, Shivakumar was arrested by ED under PMLA after his links with corrupt Karnataka state government officials were established. His custody was extended till September 17 same year and was sent to Tihar jail.

In the meantime, he moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail. His judicial custody was extended till 25 October 2019 from October 15 the same year. In a show of solidarity, AICC President Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ambika Soni met him at Tihar jail. The Court, however, granted bail to Shivakumar on 23 October 2019, ruling that he would not be able to tamper with the evidence as the documents were in the investigative agencies’ possession. Shivakumar, who was released on a bail bond of Rs 25 lakh cannot leave the country without court’s permission. While the ED challenged the bail granted to him in the Supreme Court, its plea was rejected. The Congress leader is presently on bail in a PMLA case registered by ED based on a complaint filed by the I-T department.