A special court today granted conditional interim bail to senior Congress leader and Karnataka Minister D K Shivakumar in a tax evasion case. Shivakumar, who was present in the court, and four other accused in the case, have been directed to deposit a bond of Rs 50,000 each. Sachin Narayan, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Anjaneya Hanumanthaia and Rajendra are the other accused. The Special Court for Economic Offences posted the case for next hearing on September 20.
The Income Tax department carried out raids against close friends and relatives of Shivakumar recently, drawing angry reactions from the minister and his parliamentarian brother D K Suresh. They had alleged that the department was trying to fix Suresh in the case. Cash and documents were allegedly seized during the raids at the residences of Sharma and Hanumanthaia.
The I-T department had issued notices to them seeking explanation. The issue snowballed into a political slugfest between the Congress and the BJP, which had demanded Shivakumar’s resignation. Shivakumar was instrumental in ensuring the safe stay of Gujarat Congress legislators in a Karnataka resort during Rajya Sabha polls last year amid allegations that the BJP was trying to poach them.
He was also the key man who oversaw the operation to keep Congress lawmakers together against alleged poaching attempts by BJP after the May assembly polls, which threw up a hung verdict. The Congress had then sheltered its MLAs, claiming that the BJP, which had emerged as the single-largest party but fell short of numbers, was trying to lure its MLAs away in its bid to form the government.