National Herald Case - In its ongoing investigation into the activities of the Congress party-owned National Herald newspaper, the Enforcement Directorate has once again called Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar for questioning, the official sources said.
He has been asked to depose before the ED on October 7 in Delhi, they said. The cental agency last questioned the 60-year-old former cabinet minister on September 19 in the nation's capital in connection with another money laundering investigation involving the holding of disproportionate assets.
The latest summons comes as the Congress party's "Bharat Jodo Yatra," led by Rahul Gandhi, arrived in Karnataka on Friday, September 30, and will remain there for 21 days. The management of this leg of the yatra is being handled by Shivakumar.
He told the media persons as he left the ED office following his questioning last month that he had been charged by the agency in one money laundering case but did not know what the current case against him was.
"Surprisingly, ED officials have asked me about the payment from one of my trusts from me and my brother to Young Indian." He had told reporters. Shivakumar added that he has asked the agency for more time to provide them with information regarding his assets and liabilities.
The former minister for Karnataka declared that he trusted the "legal system" and was confident that he would be treated fairly.
The ED has been questioning prominent Congress figures like Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal over the past few months in relation to the National Herald money laundering case, along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her MP son Rahul Gandhi, and others.
After it was found that they allegedly paid payments to Young Indian, the agency also issued summonses to a number of Congress officials from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for an interview with the Herald. Their depositions would take place at the ED headquarters in Delhi between October 3 and 10.
In response to several rounds of questioning in a case that resulted from an Income Tax Department action against him, Shivakumar was taken into custody by the agency on September 3, 2019. In October of that year, the Delhi High Court had granted him bail. The agency filed a charge sheet against him and a few other people connected to him in this case in May of this year.
A charge sheet (prosecution complaint) brought by the Income Tax Department against them in 2018 before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions totaling crores was taken into consideration when the case was launched.
The I-T department has charged Shivakumar, the head of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, and his alleged associates with routinely using "hawala" networks to move substantial sums of undeclared cash with the assistance of three other accused.
Despite claims that the BJP was attempting to kidnap the Gujarat Congress MLAs during the 2017 Rajya Sabha elections, the Kanakapura MLA was crucial in assuring their safety while they were staying in a resort in Karnataka.
Late Ahmed Patel, the political secretary of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, ran for the Rajya Sabha in Gujarat in 2017, and Shivakumar entertained 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs to the resort to keep the group together.
After she was called to appear in Delhi as part of this case, the ED questioned his daughter Aishwarya as well.