Delhi HC issues notice to ED on DK Shivakumar's bail plea
New Delhi, Sep 30: Delhi High court has issued a notice to Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar bail plea in a money laundering case. Justice Suresh Kumar Kait has sought the response of ED with a status report and slated the matter for 14th October.
Earlier, Shivakumar approached the Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking bail.
He had also challenged the trial court's Wednesday order by which his bail plea was dismissed.
While refusing the relief, the trial court had said Shivakumar is an influential person, and if released at the crucial stage of the investigation, may influence witnesses or tamper with documents to hamper the probe.
In the high court, Shivakumar cited medical reasons as one of the grounds for securing Enforcement Directorate.
In the petition, filed through advocate Mayank Jain, he said he was a seven-time MLA and not a flight risk and it was a case based on documentary evidence and there was no ground to keep him in custody as he has no criminal antecedent.
Meanwhile, his another plea seeking a copy of his statements recorded by the ED in the money laundering case came up for hearing before the high court.
Justice Brijesh Sethi reserved the order on the petition after hearing extensive arguments by the counsels of Shivakumar and the ED.
In his plea, the Congress leader claimed that the statement under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) could only be recorded by the Director of the ED and the statement recorded by any other officer in Shivakumar's case be removed from the records.
Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Shivakumar, said the power to examine on oath lies with the Director of the ED and not anyone else.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the ED, contended that the petition should not be entertained and none of the prayers even deserves issuance of notice to the authorities.
He argued that all the issues have already been decided by the Karnataka High Court on the petition of Shivakumar and he cannot be allowed to do "forum shopping".
While denying bail to Shivakumar, the trial court had perused his medical report and noted that although he has undergone angiography, his condition was stable and has been advised medication.
The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at the Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others.
The case was based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru alleging tax evasion and 'hawala' transactions worth crores of rupees.
The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of indulging in the transaction of huge amount of unaccounted money on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with the help of three other accused.