SC quashes ED case on money laundering against DyCM D K Shivakumar

07:36PM Tue 5 Mar, 2024

New Delhi, Mar 5 (IANS): The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed a money laundering probe initiated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar.

A Bench presided over by Justice Surya Kant was hearing a special leave petition filed by the Congress leader against a decision of the Karnataka High Court refusing to quash the summons issued to him by the central anti-money laundering agency.

The ED initiated a probe against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on the charge sheet filed by the I-T Department.

During the probe, the ED discovered approximately Rs 200 crore unaccounted cash belonging to Shivakumar. The ED claimed that the money was parked in over 317 bank accounts across 20 banks, all under Shivakumar's control. The ED also alleged the discovery of benami properties worth over Rs 800 crore linked to Shivakumar.

Shivakumar was arrested in this case on September 3, 2019. However, he was granted bail by the Delhi High Court in October 2019. In May 2022, the ED had charge-sheeted him in the matter.

In his plea against the ED probe, Shivakumar contended that offence of criminal conspiracy cannot be invoked in the absence of predicate offence and offence under Income Tax Act not being a scheduled offence, proceedings under the PML Act cannot be continued.