Karnataka

ED to resume Shivakumar’s questioning on Monday

‘They rejected my plea to put off process to some other day’

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday questioned Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar for the second consecutive day in connection with a money-laundering case. He has been asked to appear before the ED again on Monday for questioning.

Mr. Shivakumar appeared before the ED on Friday evening after the High Court of Karnataka refused to entertain his request for either extending the deadline for appearing before the agency or preventing his arrest if he appeared before it.

On Saturday, he was questioned for about seven-and-a-half hours. “I came to the ED office around 11 a.m. The questioning went on till night. I took a break of around 45 minutes for lunch,” Mr. Shivakumar told reporters in New Delhi after the questioning process ended on Saturday night.

He said he had been asked to come back again to the ED office for questioning on Monday, which also happens to be Gowri-Ganesha festival day. “I accepted it after they rejected my plea to put off the questioning process to some other day as Monday happens to be a festival day,” he said, and maintained that he had answered all the questions posed by the ED officials.

The ED probe started in September 2018 on the basis of a chargesheet filed by the Income Tax Department alleging tax evasion and hawala transactions. The Income Tax Department had conducted searches on the premises linked to Mr. Shivakumar in August 2017. It is alleged that unaccounted cash of about ₹20 crore was seized during searches.

Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress members staged a protest in Bengaluru on Saturday against what they called misuse of the ED by the Centre to settle political scores against Mr. Shivakumar.

Protest

The protesting members also blocked the movement of vehicles on Racecourse Road for some time. They warned of launching a campaign if Mr. Shivakumar was arrested. When they tried to march towards Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s residence to lay a siege, the police stopped them and also took some of them into custody.

‘We’re not misusing ED’

Mandya Special Correspondent writes:

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda has rubbished allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre was indulging in “vendetta politics”. The veteran BJP, who was in Mandya to attend a private programme on Saturday, told reporters that the Centre was neither targeting Opposition party leaders nor misusing the ED and other agencies for political gains. There was no need for politicising Mr. Shivakumar’s issue, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 9:43:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ed-to-resume-shivakumars-questioning-on-monday/article29311326.ece

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