D K Shivakumar cannot turn tainted property into untainted by paying tax, ED tells court

Senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar was arrested by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). (File)

While opposing the bail application of Congress leader D K Shivakumar in a money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Thursday said just by paying the tax on it, he cannot turn his tainted property into untainted one, PTI reported.

At a session court in New Delhi, the ED said Shivakumar may influence the persons who are in knowledge of his "grave offence" of money laundering and are yet to be examined

"The declaration of property made by him is irrelevant. The question is how he acquired it. Even if he pays tax on it, it still remains tainted property. By just paying tax tainted property cannot be turned into untainted," ED told the court, adding that the claims made by the politician were "unbelievable".

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ED also said Shivakumar, who is under judicial custody, did not cooperate during the investigation and failed to offer any plausible explanation for the source of acquisition of properties worth Rs 800 crore. "He says he is agriculturist. Rs 1.38 crore from agricultural income is projected by him in last 20 years. Entire property is Rs 800 crores. Saying that Rs 1.38 crore was invested and became Rs 800 crore is unbelievable," ED said.

To this, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Shivakumar, said the Congress leader never claimed that the mere income from property became Rs 800 crore.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on the application on September 21.

The ED had arrested Shivakumar on September 3 in connection with a money laundering case registered by the agency last year following an investigation carried out by the Income Tax Department against him in 2017.