Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, Rouse Avenue, Delhi on Friday extended the remand of Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar to the custody of Enforcement Directorate till September 17 in a money laundering case.
Shivakumar was arrested on September 3, on alleged offence punishable under Section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He was remanded to ED custody till today on September 4.
The Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj sought for five days extension of custody on the ground that Shivakumar needed to be confronted with additional documents and statements of witnesses which have surfaced during investigation carried out so far. Details of bank accounts through which the tainted money have been diverted have come to the notice of ED, and the accused should be confronted with those details.
The accused was evasive and gave irrelevant answers and took several breaks during interrogations citing tiredness, submitted the ASG.
Senior Advocate Dr A M Singhvi, appearing for Shivakumar, submitted that he was not keeping good health and had high blood pressure. Being evasive is a subjective opinion of the investigating officer, and the accused cannot be compelled to speak as he has protection under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India. Despite his bad health condition, he was subjected to seven to eight hours of interrogation daily for the past ten days, submitted the senior lawyer.
Considering the submissions, the Special Judge ruled :
"Although police custody cannot be claimed and granted mechanically but it is also true that the Investigating Agency has to be given chance for a free, fair and full investigation. The pace of investigation cannot be truncated when some material document and records remain to be put to the accused. Therefore, the remand of the accused to the ED custody is extended till 17.09.2019".
The Court added that the investigating officer should take due care of the health of the accused and whenever required he should be taken to hospital for check-up and treatment. His medical examination should be done every 24 hours.
Shivakumar has been allowed to meet the family doctor. His family members and counsel are given liberty to meet him for half hour every day.
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