The CBI on Monday carried out searches at the Bengaluru residence of Congress leader D K Shivakumar after booking him in a case of disproportionate assets. The CBI also searched premises linked to relatives and associates of Shivakumar at 13 other locations in Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai.
“CBI has registered a case against former Minister of Karnataka Government (Presently MLA) on the allegations of possession of disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 74.93 crore (approx) in his name and in the name of his family members. Searches were conducted today at 14 locations including nine in Karnataka, four in Delhi and one in Mumbai,” CBI spokesperson R K Gaur said.
Sources said Rs 57 lakh in cash and several incriminating documents including property papers and bank related documents, apart from electronic evidence, were seized.
Premises of Shivakumar’s brother D K Suresh, and his close associate Sachin Narayan, were among those searched. Suresh is the Lok Sabha MP from Bengaluru Rural. Narayan, a businessman with interests in real estate and hotels, had been booked earlier along with Shivakumar by the Income-Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Sources said CBI registered the disproportionate assets case based on a reference from ED, which had opened a money laundering investigation against Shivakumar in September 2018 based on tax evasion findings by the I-T Department.
The CBI claimed the Karnataka government had given the go-ahead for an investigation against Shivakumar early this year, following which the agency had registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) in March. On completion of the PE, an FIR has been registered.
It claimed that the PE “prima facie disclosed that Shri D K Shivakumar and his dependent family members amassed assets disproportionate to their known sources of income during the period from 01.04.2013 to 30.04.2018 during which period, Shri D K Shivakumar was functioning as public servant in the capacity of Cabinet Minister of Govt. of Karnataka”.
The Congress said the CBI action was part of the “Raid Raj” of the BJP governments in Bengaluru and New Delhi.
“The insidious game of intimidation & machinations of Modi-Yeddyurappa duo being executed by a puppet CBI by raiding @DKShivakumar won’t deter us. CBI should be unearthing the layers of corruption in Yeddyurappa Govt. But, ‘Raid Raj’is their only ‘Machiavellian Move’!” party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet.
Karnataka’s former Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too tweeted in Shivakumar’s support, and alleged that the searches were intended to disrupt Congress preparations for the upcoming byelections. Shivakumar, who is now president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, was a minister in Siddaramaiah’s government.
ED had arrested Shivakumar on September 3 last year. The investigations had reportedly found that a major part of his over Rs 800 crore wealth had been accumulated at the time he was Karnataka’s Minister for Urban Development (between 1999 and 2004 in the S M Krishna government) and Power (from 2014-18 when Siddaramaiah was CM).
Shivakumar, who is on bail in the ED case, has repeatedly argued that all his wealth is declared and he has paid taxes on them, and has always denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he was being targeted for political reasons.
The CBI FIR alleges that Shivakumar and members of his family were found to be in possession of movable and immovable assets to the tune of Rs 33.92 crore on April 1, 2013, which increased to Rs 128.60 crore by April, 2018.
“…Their total income and receipts during the check period was to the tune of Rs 166,79,58,216 and their total expenditure was to the tune of Rs 113,12,16,585 and therefore, they are found to be in possession of assets disproportionate to the tune of Rs 74,93,40,069 which is 44.93% of their total income during the check period and the same cannot be satisfactorily explained by the accused,” the FIR said.
In his election affidavit in 2004, Shivakumar had declared wealth of Rs 7 crore. This grew to more than Rs 800 crore in 2018. In fact, between 2013 and 2018, Shivakumar’s wealth grew by over Rs 600 crore.
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