KTK minister Shivakumar paid unaccounted money to AICC, alleges I-T

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Bengaluru, June 21 (PTI): Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar paid unaccounted money to the All India Congress Committee, the Income Tax Department has claimed in a complaint filed before the Special Court for Economic Offences here.

The cash payments were made personally by V Mulgund to the AICC, the department alleged. “Rs 3 crore were personally delivered by Mulgund to AICC office on January 1, 2017. On January 9, another Rs 2 crore was delivered. These unaccounted monies were delivered on the direction of Shivakumar and Sunil Kumar Sharma, another accused,” it said.

In the complaint, a copy of which is available with PTI, the I.T has accused Shivakumar and Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with help of three other accused.

“As per the facts and analysis of the evidences, it is clear that accused number 1 (Shivakumar) has set up an extensive network of persons and premises across Delhi and Bangalore in order to transport and utilise unaccounted cash,” the department said.

Other accused are Sachin Narayan, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah and N Rajendra, it said. According to the I.T, Narayan is a business partner of Shivakumar and Sharma is the proprietor of Sharma Transports,  which runs a fleet of luxury and passenger buses and provides transport services to various concerns and individuals on rental basis.

Haumanthaiah is an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, allegedly responsible for storing and handling unaccounted cash of Shivakumar in Delhi, it said in the complaint. Rajendra is a caretaker of Karnataka Bhavan and works for Sharma, besides looking after immovable properties of Shivakumar and Sharma, it said.

The I-T department alleged that all five accused conspired toevade tax. “The analysis of evidences shows that the Minister has set up an extensive network of persons and premises across Delhi and Bangalore in order to transport and utilise unaccounted cash,” it said. He was involved in organised tax evasion as part of conspiracy by engaging others, the department said. Unaccounted cash of approximately Rs 20 crore was found and seized during raids in New Delhi and Bengaluru last August which were directly relatable to Shivakumar, it said.

Various material such as diaries and loose sheets with entries running into crores of rupees of unaccounted transactions as the per statement of N Rajendra,one of the five accused, were seized during the raids, it said. Meanwhile, the Special Court for Economic Offences hasregistered a fresh criminal case against Shivakumar for “wilfully” trying to evade tax and filing “false” income tax statement.

Shivakumar has alleged that the IT department was targeting him and not letting him breathe but he would fight the case legally. To a question whether it was politics of vendetta, he had told PTI yesterday, “You write whichever way you like. Assess it. They are not letting me to breathe.I don’t know why only me.”

He had warned those trying to “fix” him, saying he too has enough “evidence and documents” against his rivals.  Deputy Chief Ministera and state congress chief G Parameshwara today flayed BJP for misusing central agencies for targeting their rivals for political gains. However, he said such tricks by BJP will not work and he would give a fitting reply at an appropriate time. “The BJP is targeting their rivals through agencies like I-T, but it will not be effective. I will give a fitting reply to it,” he said.

A senior Income Tax official yesterday confirmed that a fourth summons was issued against Shivakumar by the special court dealing with economic offences here. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said govermment would stand by Shivakumar if he has not done anything illegal.  “If things are legal, we will stand by (Shivakumar)….let there be no doubts on that,” Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday in response to a question whether the government would stand by Shivakumar.

He also appealed to investigating officials not to yield to pressure while performing their duties.

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