Sonia Gandhi meets DK Shivakumar in Tihar jail and the visit conveys a message


New Delhi, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi went to meet the senior leader of the party in Tihar Jail today morning and with this, she has conveyed a message that cannot be missed.

The party has made it clear that it stands with interred Karnataka leader DK Shivakumar.

Shivakumar is under judicial custody in connection with a money laundering case.

Yesterday, former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy also met Shivakumar in jail. Speaking to the media thereafter, Kumaraswamy said, “Political issues are different and personal equation is different. DK Shivakumar and I worked together in the coalition government… This is my personal visit. He is facing political vengeance, I was here to give confidence to him. He is mentally very strong and will fight all this.”

Shivakumar was a cabinet minister in the Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) government in the state.

The Enforcement Directorate told the Delhi high court on Monday it will issue fresh summons to wife and mother of Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar, arrested in a money laundering case, as the investigation is still on.

Justice Brijesh Sethi was told by ED’s counsel that the earlier summons issued to Shivakumar’s wife Usha and mother Gowaramma, 85, are not in existence and fresh summons will be issued as the investigation has to be completed.

The court was hearing separate pleas by the two women 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.

Central government’s standing counsel Amit Mahajan, appearing for ED, said the investigation cannot be stalled and it has to be completed for which fresh summons will be issued soon.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on October 24 to hear arguments on the two petitions.

Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, representing Gowaramma, said whenever the ED will issue summons to the old woman, they have to comply with the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure which says a girl below 15 years and a woman of over 65 years cannot be called to the police station.

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.

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.