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Ahead of questioning by ED, Congress leader DK Shivakumar calls I-T raids 'politically motivated'

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday declined to stay the summons issued by the ED in December 2018 to DK Shivakumar in an alleged money laundering case.

Ahead of questioning by ED, Congress leader DK Shivakumar calls I-T raids 'politically motivated'

Bengaluru: Ahead of his questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money laundering case against him, Congress leader DK Shivakumar has called the Income Tax raids on his properties in Karnataka ''politically motivated''.

Speaking to news agency ANI, the senior Karnataka Congress leader maintained that he has done nothing wrong and the BJP leaders are doing this to spell more trouble for him.

''There’s no illegal activities that I've done. BJP leaders have said it on record, they're going to harass me. Let them enjoy giving me trouble. But I'll participate and cooperate. I am busy till this afternoon, then I will go to Delhi.''

He continued by saying the ED move against him and the Income Tax raids were being conducted at the behest of the BJP government in the state.

''From the past two years, the entire property of my 84-year-old mother has been attached by various investigation authorities as ''benami' property and I am the ''benami'' there. Our entire blood has already been sucked,'' he said.

To a question on the ED issuing a summon against him for questioning, Shivakumar said, ''I've requested 'the court that it's a simple Income Tax matter. I've already filed ITR. There's no Prevention of Money Laundering(PMLA) Act. Last night, they summoned me to come to Delhi by 1 pm. I'll respect the law.''

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In a setback to Shivakumar, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday declined to stay the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate in December 2018 to him in an alleged money laundering case.

Dismissing the writ petitions of Shivakumar and four others for quashing the summons, Justice Aravind Kumar directed them to appear before the ED and face the inquiry on the alleged hawala transactions in violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The other four petitioners are Sachin Narayana, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah and Rajendra, who are associates of the high-profile lawmaker from the Kanakapura assembly segment and a trouble-shooter of the Congress.

The alleged money laundering came to light after raids by the tax sleuths on the premises of Shivakumar in Bengaluru, Kanakapura and New Delhi on August 2, 2017 led to seizure of unaccounted cash worth Rs 8.59 crore and no evidence on its source.

Cases were filed against all the five accused under sections 277 and 278 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to Congress party sources, Shivakumar is likely to approach the Supreme Court against the High Court order dismissing his petition in the case.