Bengaluru, Sep 13: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday sought 5-day extension of Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar's custodial interrogation. Shivakumar, arrested on September 3 by the ED in a money laundering case, was produced before a Delhi court on the expiry of his 9-day custodial interrogation.
The court had on September 4 sent him in the ED custody till today. The Congress leader was produced before special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar. The probe agency told the court that Shivakumar was evasive and gave irrelevant answers during the interrogation, and many of his properties are 'benami'.
"As per probe against Shivakumar, tainted money is more than Rs 200 crore and there is Rs 800 crore worth 'benami' property, Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj said. He said the ED needs to confront him with voluminous documents it has collected in the case. The ED told the court that Shivakumar was withholding information which was solely in his knowledge.
"I am sure he won't answer questions in the next five days either. Why do you need his custody," the judge asked ED, to which the agency replied that there are statements by some other accused and Shivakumar needs to be confronted with that. The court had allowed ED to interrogate the politician in custody, saying the allegations made against him were serious in nature. Meanwhile, Shivakumar's daughter Aishwarya had appeared before the ED on Thursday in connection with its money-laundering probe against him, the ED officials had said.
The 22-year-old management graduate was questioned and her statement was recorded under PMLA. According to the sources, she was also confronted with documents and statements made by Shivakumar with regard to a trip to Singapore he made with her in 2017. Aishwarya is a trustee in an education trust floated by her father.
The trust, holding assets and businesses worth crores, operates a number of engineering and other colleges and Aishwarya is the main person behind them, they said. The former cabinet minister and sitting MLA from Kanakapura seat had appeared before the ED for questioning on September 3 for the fourth time at its headquarters here.
After a long session of grilling, Shivakumar, 57, was placed under arrest as per provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others. Shivakumar had to appear before the ED after Karnataka High Court last week dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued to him by the agency.
The ED had filed the PMLA case against him and others based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.
The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of transporting a huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with the help of three other accused.