BENGALURU: Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar on Wednesday hit back at the Enforcement Directorate after he was named in a money laundering case. Claiming that he had not got any notices, "I was admitted to hospital due to food poisoning. I am not a coward to run away," he said.
He also said that he is ready to face the consequences in the case. "Does the ED need a year to register file a case? I haven't got any notices. I am a law abiding citizen and always cooperated with authorities. I am ready to face any kind of consequences," Shivakumar said.
A case has been filed against Shivakumar and few others on the basis of an alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions case. The Karnataka Minister along with others has been named under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The case has been filed based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against him early this year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.
The agency is expected to summon the accused soon for recording their statements.
The IT Department has accused Shivakumar and his associate S K Sharma of transporting a huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with help of three other accused.
"As per facts and analysis of evidence, it is clear that accused number 1 (Shivakumar) has set up an extensive network of persons and premises across Delhi and Bengaluru in order to transport and utilise unaccounted cash," the department had said.
Other accused are Sachin Narayan, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah and N Rajendra. According to the tax department, Narayan is a business partner of Shivakumar and Sharma is the proprietor of Sharma Transports, which runs a fleet of luxury and passenger buses and provides transport services to various concerns and individuals on rental basis.
Haumanthaiah is an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, allegedly responsible for storing and handling unaccounted cash of Shivakumar in Delhi, it had said in the complaint.
Rajendra is a caretaker of Karnataka Bhavan and works for Sharma, besides looking after immovable properties of Shivakumar and Sharma, it said.
The IT department had alleged that all five accused conspired to evade tax.