Karnataka HC Refuses to Quash ED Summons Against Shivakumar in Money Laundering Case

Sources said the former Karnataka minister is likely to appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court on Friday.

New Delhi: In a setback for Congress leader and former water resource minister D.K. Shivakumar, the Karnataka high court dismissed his petition seeking the quashing of Enforcement Directorate’s summons in connection with a money laundering case.

Following Justice Arvind Kumar’s ruling on Thursday, the ED asked Shivakumar to appear before it on Friday. The ED had issued a summons to the Congress leader to question him in a money laundering case of around Rs 7 crore, News Minute reported.

According to Deccan Herald, dismissing the petitions filed by Shivakumar and four others, Justice Kumar said that exemption could not be claimed under Article 226 as probe agencies have strong vigilance power under the money laundering law.

“The income tax officials have already registered cases against the accused under various provisions of IPC,” the court observed. “Based on this, ED officials have also registered Enforcement Case Investigation Report (ECIR). Hence, the petition does not have merit to be heard by the court at this juncture.”

The petitioners had already accepted the show-cause notice in the case and they may appear before the investigating officer to defend themselves, the court pointed out.

Sources close to the former minister told Deccan Herald that he is likely to appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court on Friday.

“I respect the court’s decision,” Shivakumar said following the ruling, adding: “I will look for other legal options. My contention here is that this is an income tax case and not one under the purview of the Enforcement Directorate. I do not want to comment about the partiality of central agencies here.”

The case against Shivakumar

In September 2018, the ED filed a case against the former minister and two others related to unaccounted cash which the I-T department found during August 2017 raids in properties owned by Shivakumar and his associates.

According to the News Minute report, the I-T department allegedly recovered Rs 7 crore in unaccounted cash from Shivakumar’s properties, following which he was booked under Section 120(b) of the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

His business associates and owners of Sharma Travels, Sachin Narayan and Sunil Kumar Sharma, were also booked and Anjaneya Hanumant and Rajendran – both government employees posted at the Karnataka Bhavan in Delhi – were named as co-accused.

Previously, Shivakumar has been accused of illegal granite mining. In 2015, the Karnataka high court issued notices to him and his family.