DK Shivakumar
DK Shivakumar
ANI Photo

Bengaluru: Karnataka's former Congress minister D.K. Shivakumar on Friday moved an application in the state High Court for interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his alleged involvement in 'hawala' (illegal) transactions, a party official said.

"Shivkumar's counsel B.V. Acharya has filed a writ petition in the High Court for an urgent hearing on granting interim protection to him from arrest by the ED in the alleged money laundering case," party spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS.

Shivakumar, 57, moved the High Court after the ED summoned him to appear before its investigation team in New Delhi on Friday afternoon in connection with the case filed against him in 2018 for the alleged violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

Shivakumar tweeted earlier in the day that the ED had sent him summons on Thursday night after the High Court rejected his petition for quashing its December 2018 order to appear before its investigation team for probing the illegal transactions.

"Have received summons from ED late yesterday (Thursday) night asking me to appear at 1:00 p.m. today (Friday)," he tweeted.

"Although the sudden scheduling by ED is malafide, I believe in (the) rule of law and will definitely participate and cooperate with them (it) and abide by the law of our country," his tweet further said.

The alleged money laundering came to light after raids by the tax sleuths on Shivakumar's flat in New Delhi on August 2, 2017 led to seizure of unaccounted cash worth Rs 8.59 crore without evidence of its source of income.

Cases were filed against him and four others associated with him under Sections 277 and 278 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"The judge also observed that it was for the law enforcing agencies like the ED and I-T Department to ascertain if the offence was in violation of the PMLA and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988," an ED official told IANS on Thursday.

"The I-T raid on me was politically motivated for hosting then Gujarat Congress MLAs (at a private resort on Bengaluru outskirts in July-August 2017). As a loyal soldier of (the) Congress and a responsible politician, I did what (the) party asked me to do (and) for which I have been targetted," said Shivakumar, considered to be the party's trouble-shooter.

He also tweeted that he has full faith in the legal system and will face this (case) legally and politically.

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