Bengaluru

₹10 crore seized from Karnataka Energy Minister Shivakumar

Karnataka Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar during the raids conducted by the Income Tax Department in Bengaluru on August 2, 2017.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

In a coordinated early morning exercise, Income Tax Department officials on Wednesday carried out a multi-city search on properties linked to Karnataka Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar and his brother — Member of Parliament from Bengaluru Rural D.K. Suresh. 

While searches were carried out in nearly 60 premises across New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Chennai and Mr. Shivakumar’s hometown Kanakapura, the most controversial one was at the Eagleton resort, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, where Mr. Shivakumar was staying with over 40 MLAs from Gujarat. 

Searches at the Eagleton resort led to accusations by the Congress that the Gujarat legislators were the “target.” However, income tax officials clarified that the search operations were on the basis of complaints of disproportionate assets against Mr. Shivakumar.

 

‘Only his room searched’

They further stated that they went to the resort where the Gujarat MLAs were camping as Mr. Shivakumar was also staying there, and that only his room was searched. 

Sources in the I-T department claimed that so far ₹10 crore and a large cache of documents had been seized, and the raids may continue on Thursday. 

While ₹8 crore was seized from Mr. Shivakumar’s residence on Safdarjung Road in New Delhi, about ₹2 crore was recovered from other locations. It is not clear if any of the money seized was from the resort.

 

All the premisses searched were linked to the Minister’s business interests that span across real estate, education, mining, power and transport, sources said. 

CRPF personnel were summoned to provide security during the raids and the premises of Congress MLC, S. Ravi, a relative of the Minister, was also searched. As many 39 search warrants were issued, and it was the result of an ongoing investigation, claimed sources. 

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and several State and national Congress leaders termed the raids “politically motivated and vindictive.” “The use of central para military forces in an I-T search is condemnable. Violating rules exposes political motivations behind raids.” Mr. Siddaramiah said.

Congress MLA from Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil staying at the resort urged the SC to take suo motu cognisance and provide security to the MLAs in the resort, as there was an “environment of fear created in the resort by gun-wielding security men.” There were protests by Youth Congress workers in front of Mr. Shivakumar’s residence in Bengaluru, I-T offices in Hubbali and Mangaluru.

PTI  quoted Karnataka Chief Minister as saying, "the I-T raid is an attempt to silence the voice against the BJP, and we will not bow down to intimidation."

Congress leader Ahmed Patel called the searches an "unprecedented witch hunt." "After using the state machinery and every agency, now this I-T raids reflect the desperation and frustration of the BJP," he said.

Shaktisinh Gohil, Congress spokesperson, addressing the media at the Eagleton Resort on Bengaluru’s outskirts on August 2. Sampath Kumar G.P.

Shaktisinh Gohil, Congress spokesperson, addressing the media at the Eagleton Resort on Bengaluru’s outskirts on August 2. Sampath Kumar G.P.  

Multiple teams of I-T sleuths swooped down on these locations simultaneously at 7 a.m., sources said, adding that other locations of close associates and relatives of the Minister-MP duo were also being searched.

Mr. Shivakumar and Mr. Suresh also had two separate rooms booked at the resort from the last five days. These rooms were also broken open and searched, the sources said.

Incidentally in the last six months, several State Congress leaders, including Hoskote MLA MTB Nagaraj, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Women’s wing chief Lakshmi Hebbalkar and firms linked to Miinister Ramesh Jarkiholi, were targets of I-T search and seizure operations.


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An earlier version of this story had erroneously reported that the rooms of the MLAs were also raided. It has now been corrected.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 1:28:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/it-raids-at-karnataka-ministers-house-resort-housing-gujarat-congress-mlas/article19406787.ece

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