Former Karnataka minister and Congress MLA DK Shivakumar
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday produced Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar before a special court in Delhi and sought judicial custody for further interrogation in a money laundering case, even as his lawyer Abhishek Singhvi cited his poor health and claimed he came dangerously close to a "heart attack".
Shivakumar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on September 3 in connection with a money laundering case that surfaced following an I-T raid in 2017. After his arrest, the former Karnataka minister was sent to a 9-day ED custody. On the agency's request, his custodial interrogation was extended till September 17.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KM Nataraj, appearing for the ED, told the court that Shivakumar's health condition didn't allow the agency to effectively interrogate him, thus, his judicial custody with permission to interrogate was needed.
However, Shivakumar's lawyer contended that his health condition was very serious and he needs to be hospitalised as he came "very close" to a heart attack. Accusing the ED of being biased and lying before the court about the investigation in the case, Singhvi sought Shivakumar's immediate release on bail.
During the last hearing, the Enforcement Directorate had alleged that many of Shivakumar’s properties were ‘benami’ and claimed that he diverted more than Rs 200 crore of tainted money through 317 bank accounts. The agency had told the court that he was evasive and gave irrelevant answers during the interrogation.
His lawyer, however, told the court that the probe agency was alleging about 317 bank accounts only to spoil Shivakumar's image in media and public. He told the court that during the raids, only Rs 41 lakh were recovered from him and not Rs 8.5 crore or 143 crore as claimed by the agency.