Senior Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar on Saturday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in a money laundering case, news agency ANI reported. On Friday, after arriving in the national capital from Bengaluru, he had said. "It is my duty before ED. I have to respect the law. We are law-makers and law-abiding citizens. They (ED) have summoned me, I don't know why they have called me under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)."
"But, let me see, hear them. I am ready to face them (ED)," the MLA from Kanakapura assembly seat told reporters before entering the agency's office. Officials said the statement of the former state minister will be recorded under PMLA. Shivakumar had to appear before the agency after the Karnataka High Court on Thursday dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued to him by the ED.
The central agency had in September last year registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others.
ED case has been filed based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income-Tax Department against him last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores. I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his associate S K Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with help of three other accused.
Shivakumar emerged as the richest nominee for 2018 Karnataka Assembly polls when he declared combined assets worth over Rs 700 crore in his poll affidavit. Through the affidavit, Shivakumar declared cash and bank deposits worth Rs 95 crore, immovable assets including commercial buildings and land valued at over Rs 635.8 crore and gold, diamonds, and silver valued at over Rs 1.5 crore, among other assets.
DK Shivakumar’s career in politics kick-started when he defeated HD Deve Gowda in 1989 from Sathanur and came to be known as a giant killer and soon became a minister in the government and continued the rivalry in Bengaluru rural region with HD Deve Gowda getting better of him only once during Kanakapura by election in 2002. Many think Shivakumar might be the right person to replace Rahul Gandhi as the party boss.