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D K Shivakumar sent to judicial custody till Oct 1

September 17, 2019 20:30 IST

A Delhi court Tuesday sent Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar, arrested in a money laundering case by Enforcement Directorate, to 14-day judicial custody.

IMAGE: Congress leader D K Shivakumar was arrested on September 3 in a money laundering case by Enforcement Directorate. Photograph: PTI Photo

Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar directed the ED to take Shivakumar to hospital first and to see whether doctor suggests admitting him there.

"It is directed that the accused be first taken to the hospital and only after his medical condition is opined to be stable, he be sent to judicial custody in Central Jail, Tihar... The accused is remanded to judicial custody till October 1," the judge said in the order.

 

The court has listed Shivakumar's bail plea for hearing on Wednesday at 3.30 pm.

In case the MLA is admitted to the hospital, his custody be taken over by the Superintendent of Tihar jail and the doctors hand over his custody only on his discharge, the judge said.

"In case, he is admitted in the hospital, his custody shall be taken over by the Superintendent Central jail, Tihar who shall provide guards for the accused. In case of his admission in the hospital, the doctors shall hand over his custody to the Superintendent, Central jail, Tihar only on his discharge," he said.

The judge also said that in case Shivakumar is taken to Tihar jail, then the authorities permit him to take his medicines subject to the approval of doctor on duty in the jail.

The court took into consideration the MLA's medical records which said he suffers from hypertension and fluctuating blood pressure, has undergone angioplasty earlier and is on a heavy medical dosage.

The probe agency claimed in the court that his interrogation was yet to be completed and sought permission from the judge to question him during the judicial custody.

Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj and Special Public Prosecutors Amit Mahajan, N K Matta and Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, told the court that Shivakumar's health condition did not allow his effective questioning.

The Congress leader's counsels opposed the ED plea for judicial custody and sought his bail on medical grounds.

Senior advocates A M Singhvi and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Shivakumar, submitted in the court that the MLA's health condition was very serious and he was close to a heart attack; therefore, he be granted bail.

The ASG told the court that Shivakumar was taken to hospital as directed by court and due to his aliment, his interrogation could not be continued.

Singhvi further said that only Rs 41 lakh was recovered from Shivakumar and not Rs 8.5 crore, as alleged by the ED and now surprisingly the figure has become Rs 143 crore.
He alleged that ED is biased and mala fide and is lying before the court about the investigation.

The agency's claim about 317 bank accounts was only to spoil Shivakumar's image in media and public, he added.

"Fraudulent things are being represented by the ED to prejudice the court. Imaginary figures of money are being quoted by ED to mislead the court. Only Rs 41 lakh recovered from me. Rs 8.5 crore was not recovered from me as claimed by the agency. Now it surprisingly becomes Rs 143 crore," Singhvi told the court.

He further stated that the value and amount of Shivakumar's property had to go up over time, and also inherited his father's property.

Rohatgi, also representing Shivakumar and seeking bail for him, said he was a 7-time MLA and not a flight risk.

It is a case based on documentary evidence and there was no ground to keep Shivakumar in custody as he has no criminal antecedent, he said.

"Shivakumar was seven times MLA and spent life in public cause and is a public figure. He is not a flight risk and has roots in society. He has no criminal antecedents," Rohatgi said.

The recovery of money, which made the basis of the case by the Income Tax Department, was not a serious offence considered under law, he said, adding that the ED had lodged the case based on the I-T department's FIR.

Rohatgi further said that this is a case of granting bail and the court can impose conditions; if not, then granting medical bail to Shivakumar should be considered.

Opposing the bail plea, ED said that it had taken care of his medical conditions.

It also alleged that laundering of money took place through bank accounts of the MLA and his family members.

Shivakumar, arrested on September 3 by the ED in money laundering case, was produced before the court Tuesday on the expiry of his custodial interrogation.

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