Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], October 6 (ANI): Enforcement Directorate (ED) has once again summoned Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar and his brother Loksabha MP DK Suresh to appear before its office tomorrow in a money laundering case.
Earlier on September 23, ED had issued a summons to both of them to appear on October 7. But Shivakumar and Suresh had written to the central agency requesting to give time in view of Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra.
ED has rejected Shivakumar's request for extending the date of his appearance before the agency.
Notably, the ED had earlier summoned Shivakumar and his brother and Congress MP DK Suresh to appear before it on October 7.
"I had requested time to appear which was denied. I asked time as Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra is passing through Karnataka and there are my responsibilities," he said.
However, ED refused to do so and issued another notice on October 5 seeking the brothers to attend the hearing on Friday, October 7.
Following this, DK Shivakumar said in a statement that "he will take a decision after consulting with the party leaders."
Meanwhile, Congress has called the ED summons to Shivakumar in the midst of the Bharat Jodo Yatra as an attempt to derail the march by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Centre. Congress said that the BJP is anxious about the overwhelming response from people to the Yatra.
DK Shivkumar also accused the government of misusing agencies to harass him after seeing the success of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Congress leader said he would discuss the summons with fellow party leaders and take a call on whether he should appear.
ED had filed a charge sheet against Shivakumar and others in a money laundering case in May. Shivakumar is currently serving as the President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.
The money laundering case was registered by the Enforcement Directorate, based on a complaint filed by the Income Tax (IT) department. The I-T department, during the initial probe, had allegedly found unaccounted and misreported wealth linked to the Congress leader.
DK Shivakumar earlier had called the charges "baseless" and "politically motivated". Earlier, the ED has also summoned DK Shivakumar's wife and mother to appear before it, which was later challenged in the Delhi High Court. According to the source, the ED has not mentioned Shivakumar's wife and mother's names in the charge sheet.
In August this year, a Special CBI Court of Delhi granted bail to four accused in a money laundering case connected with Shivkumar registered by ED.
The Special Judge Vikas Dhull while granting bail to four accused said, "the bail applications are allowed and the accused are admitted to regular bail subject to their furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs 1 lakh each with one surety each of the like amount subject to the condition that accused shall not leave this country without prior permission of this court and shall not try to tamper with the evidence or influence any witness."
ED had arrested Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar on September 3, 2019, in the case and later Delhi High Court granted him bail in October 2019.
Meanwhile, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday morning joined the party's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in Mandya in Karnataka.
Sonia Gandhi who had arrived in Mysuru on Monday afternoon arrived at the starting point of the padyatra, which resumed today on its after a two-day break for Dussehra. The Yatra entered its Karnataka leg on September 30.
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said that the response the party received from the BJP-ruled Karnataka shows that the countdown to the downfall of the BJP in the next election has begun.
Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar seconded Ramesh and said that BJP's countdown has started. (ANI)