New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that the wife and mother of Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar, arrested in a money laundering case, need not appear before the agency as of now.
The probe agency made the submission in the court on two separate pleas by Shivakumar's wife Usha Shivakumar and mother Gowramma challenging the summons issued to them by the ED in the money laundering case.
The ED had summoned Gowramma and Usha to appear before it on October 15 and 17 respectively. Gowramma had skipped it.
The ED's counsel told Justice Brijesh Sethi that Usha need not appear before the agency on Thursday for the reason that fresh summons will now be issued against the two women and there will be a gap of at least seven working days.
Taking on record the statement made by central government standing counsel Kirtiman Singh, appearing for ED, the court listed the matter for hearing on October 21. Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Gowramma, said the ED officials have summoned the woman to their office which was violation of the law.
He said as per the provision of the CrPC, a girl below 15 years and a woman of over 65 years cannot be called to the police station.
"The mother (Gowramma) is 85 years old, so if the ED officials want to question her, they have to come to her house and they cannot ask her to come to their office. Considering her age, the presumption would be that shecould not be physically fit," the counsel argued.
Fifty-seven-year-old Shivakumar, a seven-time MLA in Karnataka, was arrested by the ED on September 3 under the PMLA. He is lodged in Tihar jail.
He has also approached the high court challenging a trial court's order denying him bail. His plea is listed for hearing on Thursday.
The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah -- an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others.
The case was based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and 'hawala' transactions worth crores.
The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of indulging in transactions involving huge amounts of unaccounted money on a regular basis through 'hawala' channels with the help of three other accused.