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CBI raids Karnataka Congress chief Shivakumar’s properties on ‘ED inputs’, party cries foul

CBI says raids in 14 places are based on inputs from ED. Congress alleges attempt by Modi govt to derail party's preparations for Karnataka bypolls.

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Bengaluru: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting raids on the properties of Karnataka Congress president D.K. Shivakumar at 14 locations, including his residence in Bengaluru. 

The raids began early morning at properties that belong to the Congress leader and his brother, Bengaluru Rural MP D.K. Suresh, in Karnataka, Mumbai and Delhi. 

The fresh raids, CBI sources said, are based on inputs shared by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing a money laundering case against the leader. 

The CBI had in August been granted sanction by the Yediyurappa-led BJP government to investigate charges of corruption against Shivakumar under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988.

In a press statement Monday, the CBI confirmed that the raids were taking place at 14 locations. “CBI has registered a case against the then minister of Karnataka Government and others on the allegations of acquisition of disproportionate assets,” the statement said. “Searches are being conducted today at 14 locations including nine in Karnataka, four in Delhi, and one in Mumbai.”

A PTI report quoted CBI officials to claim that the agency has so far recovered Rs 50 lakh in Monday’s raids. 

Congress leaders, however, cried foul and claimed that the raids were an attempt to derail their preparations for the bypolls in Karnataka. Byelections to two seats, Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Sira, will be held on 3 November.

@BJP4India has always tried to indulge in vindictive politics & mislead public attention. The latest CBI raid on @KPCCPresident @DKShivakumar‘s house is another attempt to derail our preparation for bypolls. I strongly condemn this,” tweeted former chief minister Siddaramaiah. 

“The insidious game of intimidation & machinations of Modi-Yeddyurappa duo being executed by a puppet CBI by raiding @DKShivakumar won’t deter us. CBI should be unearthing the layers of corruption in Yeddyurappa Govt. But, ‘Raid Raj’ is their only ‘Machiavellian Move’!” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted. 

Karnataka Minister Dr K. Sudhakar, however, said the allegations that the raids were due to vindictive politics are baseless. 

“It is far from the truth,” he told reporters in Mysuru. “D.K. Shivakumar’s house was raided previously too, and the one conducted today is a continuation of that legal process.

He also said that the CBI and the ED are autonomous independent agencies doing their duty. “D. K. Shivakumar recently made a statement that he has not been involved in corruption. If that is the case, then there is no need to get scared about the investigation,” Sudhakar said. “Shivakumar will come clean if he is as honest as he claims and the truth will come out after the fair probe.”

The ED case against Shivakumar

Shivakumar is already facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged money laundering. The 58-year-old was arrested on 30 September 2019 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after 30 hours of intense ED questioning. 

The ED had claimed to have found Rs 8.59 crore of “unaccounted cash” with the seven-time MLA. Shivakumar had been booked along with an employee of Karnataka Bhavan, Hanumanthaiah, and others for alleged offences under the PMLA. 

This was based on a charge sheet filed by the income tax department before a special court in Bengaluru, alleging tax evasion and ‘hawala’ transactions worth crores of rupees by the Congress leader. 

ED officials in a statement following the arrest in 2019 had said the “unaccounted cash” was procured from one of the four flats owned by Shivakumar in Delhi’s upscale  Safdarjung Enclave area. The ED later revised the figure to Rs 11 crore. 

Shivakumar remained in ED custody until 17 September last year before being remanded in judicial custody. He spent 50 days in Tihar jail before being granted bail by a Delhi High Court order on 24 October 2019. 


Also read: Politicians add to Karnataka’s anti-Hindi drive, actors join in with T-shirt campaign


 

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