Congress’s troubleshooter in Karnataka DK Shivakumar granted bail

New Delhi: K Shivakumar, the Congress’s troubleshooter in Karnataka, has been freed from Delhi’s Tihar Jail on a Rs. 25 lakh bail bond. Mr DK Shivakumar, who faces allegations of money laundering running into crores of rupees, cannot leave the country, the Delhi High Court said Wednesday.

Justice Suresh Kait, while granting bail to Mr Shivakumar, said he is not a flight risk. The judge 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.

He 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.

Shivakumar’s daughter was also questioned: 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.

Sonia Gandhi, Ambika Soni met Shivakumar in Tihar jail: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her party colleague Ambika Soni went to Tihar Jail this morning to meet with Mr Shivakumar. His brother DK Suresh was also present during the meeting of the Congress leaders.

Mr Suresh told reporters that Mrs Gandhi assured Mr Shivakumar the party is with him and will stand in his support. Mrs Gandhi told him this is a case of “political vendetta” and other Congress leaders are also being targeted by the BJP government at the centre, Mr Suresh said.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who met Mr Shivakumar in Tihar on Monday, has said Mr Shivakumar was a target of political revenge.