New Delhi: Congress’ troubleshooter DK Shivakumar was sent to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till September 17 by a court here in a money laundering case. The former Karnataka minister was arrested by the investigating agency on September 3, following which he was sent to ED’s custody for 10 days.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had today sought additional five-day custody of Shivakumar ‘as it needed to confront the Congress leader with latest facts’. Appearing on behalf of the probe agency, Additional solicitor general (ASG) KM Natraj, told the court that Shivakumar was “evasive” and gave “irrelevant replies” during his custodial interrogation. The ASG also said that the ED wants to ‘confront Shivakumar with certain people and bank documents.’

Following the submissions by the ED, the court asked the probe agency as to how the accused would provide an answer in five days if he has not answered until now. “What do you mean by non-cooperation? Do you think he will give answers in the next five days? So far, as his answering of questions is concerned, if he was going to do it he would have done it by now,” the judge said.

Opposing Shivakumar’s custody sought by the ED, Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing him proposed that his client be kept in a hospital. Singhvi told the court that Shivakumar health condition is serious and his client suffers from high blood pressure. “He was arrested on September 3. Since then he had been interrogated for 10 hours every day. he has been questioned for over 100 hours despite his frail health”  the Congress leader said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Karnataka Congress leader’s daughter was questioned about her net worth, which grew from around Rs 1 crore in 2013 to over Rs 100 crore in 2018, and whether the financial transactions recorded between the father and the daughter also linked to the allegedly laundered money.In his 2018 election affidavit, Shivakumar had declared Rs 618 crore assets and Rs 108 crore properties in the name of his daughter.

Shivakumar was on the radar of the Income-Tax Department and the ED since demonetisation in 2016. An Income-Tax search at his New Delhi flat on August 2, 2017 led to seizure of Rs 8.59 crore unaccounted cash. The the I-T Department lodged cases against Shivakumar and his four associates under sections 277 and 278 of the Income-Tax Act, 1961, and sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

(With agency inputs)