New Delhi: Senior Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in a money laundering case for the third time on Monday, officials said.
He arrived at the ED headquarters at Khan Market here around 11 am, they said. The investigating officer of the case had grilled him for over four hours on Friday and about eight hours on Saturday as part of the probe.
The former Karnataka cabinet minister's statement was recorded during the last two occasions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). His statement is being recorded on Monday too, they said.
While making his first appearance on August 30, after he arrived by air from Bengaluru, the MLA from the Kanakapura assembly seat, had said he would cooperate with the ED in the probe. "It is my duty (to appear).... I have to respect the law. We are lawmakers and law abiding citizens. They (ED) have summoned me.... I don't know why they have called me under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)." "But, let me see, hear them. I am ready to face them (ED)," he had told reporters outside the ED office.
Shivakumar had to appear before the agency after the Karnataka High Court on Thursday dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued to him by the ED. Shivakumar had denied any wrongdoing and had said that his being "instrumental role" in ensuring safe stay of Gujarat Congress MLAs in a Karnataka resort during the Rajya Sabha polls in 2017, amid allegations that the BJP was trying to poach them, was the reason for the I-T searches and subsequent ED action against him.
The central agency had in September last year registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others. The ED case has been filed based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against him last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores.
The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his associate S K Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with the help of three other accused....