NEW DELHI, BENGALURU:Trouble seems to be mounting for Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar as the Enforcement Directorate on Friday got his custody for further interrogation till September 17. His custody was to end on Friday. Shivakumar’s family was “devastated” when they heard that he was denied bail and his custody has been extended.
Sources close to the family told The New Indian Express that they were “very hopeful” that Shivakumar would get bail and would soon return to Bengaluru after the extensive interrogation since September 3.
“But after they heard that the court had extended his custody, his wife Usha broke down. The family is very worried about his health as his blood pressure continues to be very high,” said the source. The probe agency told the court that Shivakumar was evasive and gave irrelevant answers during the interrogation and that many of his properties are ‘benami’.
“As per the probe against DK Shivakumar, tainted money is more than Rs. 200 crore and there is Rs. 800 crore worth ‘benami’’ property”,Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj had told the PMLA court in New Delhi on Friday.
Court: Take care of DKS’ medical needs
Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj added that they need to confront him with voluminous documents the ED has collected so far in the case and claimed that Shivakumar was withholding information which was solely in his knowledge. Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for Shivakumar, opposed ED’s plea for further custodial interrogation and said the Congress leader’s medical condition is very serious and that he must be in hospital as he is suffering from high blood pressure.
To this, the court told the investigating officer, “First take care of his medical requirements, only then ask questions.” The court also told the ED to file its response to Shivakumar’s bail plea. Meanwhile, it is reliably learnt that subject to Shivakumar’s health, the ED may question him and his other associates — Sachin Narayan (business associate, Sunil Kumar Sharma (proprietor of Sharma Transport, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah (employee at Karnataka Bhavan, New Delhi and N Rajendra (a former state government employee, by turns.
The ED had filed the PMLA case against Shivakumar and others based on a chargesheet filed by the Income Tax Department last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores. The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his associate S K Sharma of transporting huge amounts of unaccounted cash.