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ED files money laundering case against Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar

Bengaluru: Congress leader DK Shivakumar during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected members of the house at Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru, on Saturday. Supreme Court has ordered Karnataka BJP Government to prove their majority in a floor test at the Assembly .(PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) (PTI5_19_2018_000080B) *** Local Caption ***

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate, Tuesday, registered a money laundering case against senior Congress leader in Karnataka and Irrigation Minister D K Shivakumar in connection with alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions.
The agency has filed the case based on a chargesheet filed by the Income Tax Department against him earlier this year before a special court in Bengaluru. Summons are expected to be issued soon to Shivakumar and his four associates under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The IT Department has accused Shivakumar of transporting a huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with help of four other accused. The complaint was filed after the department found Rs 8.59 crore in cash at four Delhi properties, during searches on nearly 60 premises linked to him and his associates in August 2017.
Four associates of the minister, Sachin Narayan, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah and N Rajendran, were booked for “abetment of false returns’’ and providing false evidence. “As per facts and analysis of evidence, it is clear that accused number 1 (Shivakumar) has set up an extensive network of persons and premises across Delhi and Bengaluru in order to transport and utilise unaccounted cash,” the department had said. This was the fourth case registered against the Congress leader by the IT department.
According to the tax department, Narayan is a business partner of Shivakumar and Sharma is the proprietor of Sharma Transports, which runs a fleet of luxury and passenger buses and provides transport services to various concerns and individuals on a rental basis. Haumanthaiah is an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, allegedly responsible for storing and handling unaccounted cash of Shivakumar in Delhi, it had said in the complaint. Rajendra is a caretaker of Karnataka Bhavan and works for Sharma, besides looking after immovable properties of Shivakumar and Sharma, it said. The IT department had alleged that all five accused conspired to evade tax.
A special court had given Shivakumar a conditional bail in this case sometime back and the next date of hearing is September 20. Shivakumar had called the latest case a continuation of vendetta politics by the Centre. “I am being targeted. We are waiting and watching and we will respond at the appropriate time,’’ he had said.
Shivakumar is considered as the architect behind the operation to keep the alliance MLAs together for government formation after Karnataka elections. He was also instrumental in ensuring the safe stay of Gujarat Congress legislators in a Karnataka resort during Rajya Sabha polls last year amid allegations that the BJP was trying to poach them.