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ED seeks additional 5-day custody of Shivakumar


New Delhi

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday sought in a Delhi court five-day extension of custodial interrogation of Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar, arrested in a money laundering case, saying he was evasive in his replies.

Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar reserved the order on ED›s plea and will pronounce the order shortly.

                Shivakumar, arrested on September 3 by the ED, was produced before the court on the expiry of his 9-day custodial interrogation by the agency. He was sent to ED›s custody on September 4.

                The probe agency told the court that Shivakumar, 57, was evasive and gave irrelevant answers during the interrogation, and many of his properties are ‘benami’.

“As per the probe against Shivakumar, tainted money is more than Rs 200 crore and there is Rs 800 crore worth ‘benami’ property,” said Additional Solicitor General K M Natraj, representing the ED.

The ED needs to confront him with voluminous documents it has collected so far in the case, he said and claimed that Shivakumar was withholding information which was solely in his knowledge. To this, the judge said, “I am sure he won’t answer questions in the next five days either. Why do you need his custody.”

The ASG replied that there are statements by some other accused and Shivakumar needs to be confronted with them.

                Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Shivakumar, opposed ED›s plea for further custodial interrogation and said the Congress leader›s medical condition is very serious and he must be in hospital and that he is suffering from high blood pressure.

                Shivakumar has been in custody since September 3 and today is the 10th day, the counsel said, adding that he must be given active medical assistance. “Just because there is power to give remand for 15 days, does not mean that it should be granted,” the counsel contended while opposing agency›s plea seeking further custodial interrogation.

Singhvi told the court that ED has not filed reply on Shivakumar›s bail plea yet. “I am a law-abiding citizen,” Shivakumar›s counsel told the court, which said he will get the best hospital facilities whenever he wants.

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