Karnataka Deputy CM Shivakumar Granted Permission for Dubai Visit Amidst Money Laundering Case
Karnataka Deputy CM Shivakumar Granted Permission for Dubai Visit Amidst Money Laundering Case

New Delhi: A Delhi court has granted permission to Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, accused in a money laundering case, to travel abroad. Special Judge Vikas Dhull allowed Shivakumar to visit Dubai from November 29 to December 3, citing an invitation to attend the COP28 Local Climate Action Summit. The judge noted that the accused, an eight-time MLA and current deputy chief minister of Karnataka, was unlikely to flee India.

"In the facts and circumstances, there is no impediment in allowing the application of the applicant. Hence the application filed by Shivakumar seeking permission to travel abroad is allowed, and he is permitted to travel to Dubai with effect from November 29, 2023, till December 3, 2023," the judge stated.

However, the judge imposed several conditions on the accused. Shivakumar is required to furnish an FDR of ₹5 lakh in his name before the court prior to his travel. Additionally, he must file his complete travel itinerary along with a telephone or mobile number. The judge emphasized that the accused should not attempt to contact any of the co-accused or try to influence any of the witnesses connected with the present case while traveling abroad.

Shivakumar was granted bail on October 23, 2019, by the Delhi High Court with the condition that he would not leave the country without the permission of the court. The application submitted on his behalf claimed that the accused had traveled abroad on several occasions and returned to India without being a flight risk. The plea argued that the investigation was complete, and a prosecution complaint had already been filed before the court. It further asserted that the applicant had no criminal antecedents.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposed the application, contending that the accused was involved in a criminal conspiracy to move tainted cash and hide the source of such cash with the active participation and help of other accused. Shivakumar was booked for alleged offenses under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The case originated from a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax Department in 2018, accusing Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of engaging in transactions involving large amounts of unaccounted-for money through 'hawala' channels with the help of three other accused.

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