The top court issued a notice in the petition filed by the Congress leader urging removal of charges filed against him by the Income Tax department.
The Supreme Court has today came down heavily on the Enforcement Directorate while dismissing a plea filed by the agency challenging bail granted to senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar in a money laundering case. The Delhi High Court had granted bail to the Karnataka Congress leader on October 23.
The SC bench comprising Justices R F Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat rejected the request of the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the agency, to issue a notice on the appeal. During the hearing, Justice Nariman told Mehta, “This is not the way people of the country should be treated. You should read the dissent in Sabarimala review… It is for people like you to educate and instruct the officials that our judgments are not to be played with.”
The top court also issued a notice in the petition filed by the Congress leader urging removal of charges filed against him by the Income Tax department. The court later also clarified that no notice has been issued to Shivakumar.
The former Karnataka minister was arrested on September 3 by the ED based on charges filed by the I-T department. He was charged under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), with ‘hawala’ and alleged tax evasion worth crores of money.
Shivakumar had knocked the door of the Delhi High Court for bail on October 30, following which a notice had been issued to ED. Before this, a Delhi court had rejected his bail application.
Two days after the Delhi High Court granted him bail on October 25, the ED moved the top court. During the hearing, the Delhi HC observed there was nothing to prove that Shivakumar was a “flight risk”. It also observed that there was no chance the Congress leader would tamper with evidence or try to influence witnesses.
On July 30 this year, the Karnataka High Court ordered a stay on the Income Tax Department’s probe against him. Another accused in the case – Sachin Narayana, who was DK Shivakumar’s business associate, had filed a plea to quash the Income Tax Department’s probe with a Bengaluru sessions court, which had dismissed his petition.