- DK Shivakumar was granted bail by Delhi High Court on a Rs 25-lakh bond
- The politician faces allegations of money laundering
- He thanked party president Sonia Gandhi for supporting him
Congress leader DK Shivakumar walked out of Tihar Jail on Wednesday evening, hours after being granted bail by the Delhi High Court on a Rs 25-lakh bond. However, the politician -- who faces allegations of money laundering -- cannot leave the country, the court has ruled.
"The Delhi High Court has granted me bail. I thank all those who have stood solidly behind me in this time of crisis. I am back," news agency ANI quoted Mr Shivakumar as saying after his release.
He also thanked party president Sonia Gandhi for supporting him through it all. "She came all the way here to give me strength," the Congress leader added, referring to Mrs Gandhi's visit earlier in the day.
According to news agency PTI, Justice Suresh Kait granted bail to the Congress' troubleshooter on the grounds that he is not a flight risk. The judge also said Mr Shivakumar cannot tamper with evidence as the documents are with the investigating agencies, and there is no material to show he has influenced witnesses.
The politician was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in September and sent to Tihar Jail, where another Congress leader P Chidambaram is lodged in a separate alleged corruption case.
The investigators alleged that Mr Shivakumar, 57, had not been paying taxes and made transactions worth crores of rupees.
Mr Shivakumar's 23-year-old daughter, Aisshwarya, was also questioned by the Enforcement Directorate days after he was arrested last month. The investigators said they wanted to ask her how her net worth grew from around Rs 1 crore in 2013 to over Rs 100 crore in 2018, and whether the financial transactions between her and her father involved unaccounted money.
The Congress leader made national headlines in 2017 when he agreed to accommodate 44 party legislators from Gujarat at a resort to prevent them from being poached by the BJP ahead of a crucial Rajya Sabha election.
Soon after, income tax officials came knocking on Mr Shivakumar's door. Several properties linked to the Congress leader were also raided in August 2017.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who met Mr Shivakumar in Tihar on Monday, has said Mr Shivakumar was a target of political revenge.