Shivakumar, ED
Congress leader DK Shivakumar being arrested by ED while supporters gather around (image: ANI)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday arrested Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar in an alleged money laundering case. The Congress leader was taken into custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

This comes after the Karnataka High Court on August 26 dismissed his plea challenging the summons issued against him by the ED back in December 2018.

Last year in September, the ED lodged the money laundering case against Shivakumar and others on the basis of a chargesheet filed by the Income Tax Department in connection with tax evasion and hawala transactions to the tune of several crores.

Earlier in the day, several Karnataka politicians had opposed the continuous grilling by ED alleging vendetta politics by the ruling BJP. Meanwhile, former chief ministers HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah and many more have decried the agency’s action against Shivakumar, calling it vindictive.

The Karnataka Congress leader who is known as the party’s troubleshooter filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court challenging the summons in the Rs 7-crore money laundering case. After his petition was dismissed by the court on Thursday, ED officials from Bengaluru and Delhi approached him with fresh summons notice later in the night.

He was asked to appear before the agency on August 30 after which he was interrogated for four days.

Shivakumar had termed the move a conspiracy, the “sudden scheduling” of which was “mala fide”.

He wrote on Twitter:

“Although the sudden scheduling by ED is mala fide, I believe in rule of law & will definitely participate & fully co-operate with them and abide by the law of our country.”

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah alleged the agencies were acting with vindictiveness as Shivakumar had sheltered Gujarat Congress MLAs in 2017.

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