The Special Court for Prevention of Corruption Act has directed the Bengaluru Police to register a case against Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets. The court issued the order on Tuesday, based on a private complaint filed by one A Anand.
The Complaint Against Shivakumar
According to the complaint, Shivakumar has acquired properties worth over Rs 800 crore, which are disproportionate to his known sources of income. The complaint also alleged that Shivakumar has misused his official position as a minister and indulged in corruption and money laundering. The complaint cited various instances of Shivakumar’s involvement in illegal activities, such as:
- Hawala transactions with his associates and relatives, who have been raided by the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate in the past.
- Land grabbing of government and private lands in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka, using his influence and power.
- Tax evasion by not disclosing his true income and assets, and by creating benami entities and shell companies to hide his wealth.
- Money laundering by transferring his ill-gotten money to foreign countries through hawala channels and investing in offshore companies.
The complaint also attached documents and evidence to support the allegations against Shivakumar.
The Court’s Order to the Police
The Special Court, after hearing the arguments of the complainant and the public prosecutor, found prima facie grounds to proceed with the case against Shivakumar. The court observed that the complaint disclosed the commission of cognizable offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. The court also noted that the complainant had approached the court after the Lokayukta Police had refused to register a case against Shivakumar.
The court, therefore, directed the Bengaluru Police to register a case against Shivakumar and conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. The court also asked the police to submit a report on the progress of the investigation within three months.
The Reaction of Shivakumar and His Party
Shivakumar, who is also the president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, has not reacted to the court’s order yet. However, his party colleagues have come out in his support and accused the BJP of indulging in political vendetta. They have claimed that Shivakumar is being targeted for his role in saving the Congress-JD(S) coalition government from the BJP’s attempts to topple it in 2018. They have also alleged that the BJP is trying to weaken the opposition and silence the voices of dissent in the state.
The Congress leaders have expressed confidence that Shivakumar will come out clean from the case and prove his innocence in the court of law. They have also said that the case will not affect his leadership and popularity in the state.