Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, Rouse Avenue, Delhi on Tuesday remanded Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar to judicial custody till October 1 in a money laundering case.
Shivakumar, who was arrested on September 3, has spent 15 days in the custody of Enforcement Directorate as on today. The Court had extended his ED custody till today on September 13. The Court will continue tomorrow the hearing on the bail application moved by him.
Special Judge Kuhar allowed the accused to be taken to the hospital for the medical practitioner to decide whether he should be admitted or not. In case, the medical practitioner decides against admitting the accused to the hospital, he will be sent to the central prison under judicial custody.
Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj started off proceedings by presenting two applications to the court - one for seeking judicial custody and other for seeking permission to further interrogate the accused in custody. He said that custodial interrogation of Shivakumar was impeded due to the hospitalisation of the accused.
Nataraj informed the court that around 9 locations, owned or controlled by the accused, were raided and substantial incriminating material was recovered. This material, along with the information about transactions amounting to 147 crores, pointed towards presence of some criminal conspiracy. It was also argued that accused did not give any explanation for the aforementioned unaccounted cash.
Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, while countering the aversions made in the application for judicial custody, argued that ED has no basis to put forward the figure of 147 crores or 317 bank accounts. Both these figures are fabricated and baseless.
Singhvi also pointed out that Shivakumar has been diagnosed with hypertension and high blood pressure and he has also complained of chest pain and high fever. He remarked that, 'When I had,argued on medical grounds, they pressed for police custody; and now they're coming with an excuse of delay caused by hospitalisation. That's unfair.'
Singhvi also accused the ASG of misquoting the Supreme Court's judgment in Chidambaram's anticipatory bail matter by pointing out that the twin conditions for bail as laid down in section 45 of PMLA were declared unconstitutional by the apex court and the same were not revived by the amendments brought in by the Finance Act of 2018.
On the issue of bail, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for DK Shivakumar, submitted that the accused doesn't meet the triple test for denying bail. It was argued that since he was a 7 time MLA, a public figure and has his roots in the society, there's no risk of him fleeing from investigation or tampering with the evidence.
It was also pointed out by Rohatgi that the charges against the accused under the Income Tax Act are compoundable offences, hence they are not serious offences and bail should be allowed. He said that since the ED could not invoke PMLA for offences under Income Tax Act, it manufactured a charge of criminal conspiracy under section 120B of the IPC.