Can statement of Shivakumar’s mother be recorded at her house, HC asks ED

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) whether it can record the statement of Gowramma, mother of the former Minister D.K. Shivakumar, at her residence as she is aged around 85 and whether her representatives could submit documents on her behalf.

Justice G. Narendar asked the counsel appearing for the ED to take instructions in this regard during the hearing of a petition filed by Ms. Gowramma after her counsel submitted that the ED can record her statement at her residence considering her age or permit her representative to submit documents on her behalf.

In her petition, she has questioned the summons as well as the details of her immovable and movable assets purchased and sold, bank statements, and other particulars sought by the ED from her. It has been contended in the petition that the the ED has no authority to carry out investigation against her as neither a first information report (FIR) nor a chargesheet was filed against her under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PML) Act or offences under various others laws that have been declared as scheduled offences under the Act.

“An attempt is being made by the respondents [ED] to create a false case against her and family members by way of fishing and roving enquiries, which is impermissible in law,” the petitioner claimed. It was contended that the ED has no power to ask her the details or transactions that occurred before the PML Act came into force in 2005 and any query that the ED wants to put to her should be of post-2009 period as the offence of criminal conspiracy was made as a scheduled offence under the Act only in 2009.

She has stated that her late husband was engaged in transactions of agricultural land earlier, and neither she nor her sons were aware of those transactions carried out 70 years ago. After her husband’s death, she has been managing the affairs with the assistance of her sons, she claimed in the petition while alleging that the ED has been seeking these details only to “harass” her.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 9:13:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/can-statement-of-shivakumars-mother-be-recorded-at-her-house-hc-asks-ed/article30333271.ece

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