The Enforcement Directorate has summoned the mother and wife of Karnataka politician DK Shivakumar in connection with a money laundering case registered against the Congress leader in September last year. Gowramma, who is more than 80 years old, has been asked to appear on Tuesday while Mr Shivakumar's wife has been called on October 17. The probe agency has already questioned Mr Shivakumar's daughter, Aishwarya, and his brother, DK Suresh the Congress MP from Bangalore (Rural) in connection with the matter.
"We have summoned over 50 people in connection with the case for questioning," an agency official was quoted by news agency IANS. The official also said Mr Shivakumar's mother and wife had been called after evidence surfaced about specific financial transactions.
This is the second time Gowramma has been asked to appear in this matter after the I-T department called her to its Bengaluru office earlier this year. On that occasion the Congress strongman, who had accompanied her, said he was upset with the lack of consideration displayed to his mother.
"She had gone for a temple visit. We are ready to obey the law but it pains me to see my 80-year-old mother being treated in this way. We are willing to put up with these things, but dragging family members into it is not good," he said.
The I-T department has accused Mr Shivakumar and his associate, SK Sharma, of transferring large amounts of undeclared cash through hawala channels on a "regular basis". They have also alleged that unaccounted cash amounting to Rs. 20 crore seized during raids in New Delhi and Bengaluru was "directly relatable" to him.
He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on September 3 and remanded to judicial custody for an initial period of 14 days. On October 1 a Delhi court extended that period by another 14 days. He is currently lodged in No 7 Jail in Delhi's Tihar Jail.
Mr Shivakumar has approached the Delhi High Court seeking bail denied by the trial court on September 25. In his appeal, the seven-time MLA denied he was a "flight risk" and cited medical reasons as grounds for securing bail.
Mr Shivakumar made headlines in August 2017, when he agreed to accommodate 44 party legislators from Gujarat at a resort to prevent them from being poached by the ruling BJP ahead of a crucial Rajya Sabha election. Income Tax officials came knocking on Mr Shivakumar's door soon after.
He also made headlines earlier this year during the crisis that led to the downfall of the Congress-JDU coalition government in Karnataka, after he was detained by Mumbai Police while trying to meet rebel MLAs staying at a five-star hotel in the city.
The Congress earlier alleged the Narendra Modi government was blatantly misusing central agencies to target political opponents. However, the Income Tax department claims its raid had nothing to do with Mr Shivakumar's political actions.
With input from IANS
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