Bengaluru/New Delhi: In a setback for former minister D K Shivakumar, a Delhi court remanded him to 14-day judicial custody until October 1, while adjourning hearing on his bail plea to Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Congress leader moved the Delhi High Court for a direction to authorities of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to part with a copy of his statement recorded by them during interrogation.
Designated judge Ajay Kumar Kuher asked officers of ED to take Mr Shivakumar to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, from where he is to be brought back to court, for treatment on Wednesday afternoon when arguments on his bail application start again.
“It is directed that the accused be first taken to the hospital and only after his medical condition is opined to be stable, should he be sent to judicial custody in Central Jail, Tihar. 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," the judge said, in his order at the end of arguments by senior counsel Mr Mukul Rohtagi and others representing Mr Shivakumar during his plea for bail, and Mr M K Nataraj, counsel of ED.
Bengaluru: Mr Nataraj said the authorities had not been able to interrogate Mr Shivakumar though he was in their custody for four days because he was hospitalized.
In his counter, Mr Abhishek Manu Singhvi pleaded that Mr Shivakumar’s health was deteriorating and also countered the ED’s contention that the former minister held 317 bank accounts while his entire family operated only 20 bank accounts.
Mr Mukul Rohtagi argued that the case does not come under the purview of PMLA as Mr Shivakumar had admitted that Rs 41 lakhs seized by IT belonged him and agreed to pay tax for the amount. He also charged the ED with slowing down interrogation of the former minister merely to retain him under custody and to malign his reputation.
The judge adjourned hearing on the bail petition after Mr Nataraj sought an hour to prove that it was indeed a case under the purview of PMLA.
Laxmi Hebbalkar next?
Belagavi Congress MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar, considered a close associate of former minister D.K. Shivakumar, has been summoned by the Enforcement
Directorate for questioning in the money laundering case. Mrs Hebbalkar said. she was asked to be present on September 14 but asked for a different date. The authorities then asked her to be present on Thursday.