Karnataka minister used hawala to pay Congress, alleges I-T dept
According to the department, in the diaries with record of transactions, a clever code was used to evade detection, substituting kg for lakh.india Updated: Jun 21, 2018 23:22 IST
Over 10 months after the income tax department raided various properties related to irrigation minister DK Shivakumar, it has accused him of running a hawala network to avoid paying taxes. It also said that he conducted several cash transactions using conduits, including two payments made to the All India Congress Committee.
Searches were carried out at various locations in Bengaluru and New Delhi from August 2, including at the Eagleton Golf Resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru, where Shivakumar was residing at the time, taking care of Congress legislators from Gujarat. A complaint has been filed with the Special Court for Economic Offences in Bengaluru in this regard.
According to the complaint, a copy of which is with HT, Rajendran, a former employee of the Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, said on oath that Shivakumar paid Rs 5 crore to AICC through his political associate, V Mulgund.
The sum was allegedly paid in two transactions, carried out by Mulgund. The records of all the transactions were recovered from the searches in Delhi. An amount of Rs 8.59 crore was also recovered but Shivakumar said only Rs 41 lakh belonged to him. However, the complaint states that Rajendran and Shivakumar’s liaison officer in Delhi, Anjaneya Hanumanthiah, confirmed that the money belonged to the minister, and confirmed this a month later.
In March, both asked for their statements to be retracted, claiming that these were made under duress. A notion allegedly upheld by Shivakumar in a reply to the I-T dept in March, stating that there were “various pressures and stresses that one undergoes during an I-T search” .
According to the department, in the diaries with record of transactions, a clever code was used to evade detection, substituting kg for lakh. This, however, has been denied by the accused.
Addressing reporters, Shivakumar said he had not yet received summons from the court yet. “I am confident that injustice will not be shown from the seat of justice,” he said.
With pressure mounting on the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party demanding Shivakumar ouster from the ministry, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said: “Everybody has the right to legal recourse, so does Shivakumar. I am confident that he will overcome this vindictive politics through the courts,” he said.
Mulgund, secretary of the state Congress, said he had neither received nor delivered any money to the party.
First Published: Jun 21, 2018 20:13 IST