Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday visited Tihar Jail to meet former Karnataka minister D K Shivakumar, who was arrested in connection with a money laundering case.
Gandhi’s visit comes ahead of the Delhi High Court’s order on Shivakumar’s bail plea today.
Shivakumar was booked along with Haumanthaiah — an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi — and others for alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on charges of alleged tax evasion and ‘hawala’ transactions worth crores of rupees.
On October 17, the court had expressed anguish over non-availability of the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) law officer during hearing of the bail plea by Shivakumar, observing that the agency cannot play “hide and seek” with it. Justice Suresh Kait subsequently reserved the order on the Congress’s bail plea in which he claimed that the case was a result of political rivalry and there was not enough evidence against him.
ED had arrested the 57-year-old leader on September 3 this year. He moved the high court challenging a trial court order which denied him bail in the case.
Also, ED had opposed his bail plea saying the Congress strongman was an influential person and, if released, he could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses.
The case was based on a chargesheet filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru. 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.
Meanwhile on September 23, Sonia and former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh had met senior party leader P Chidambaram at Tihar jail, who is also under judicial custody in money laundering cases.