New Delhi: A Delhi court has allowed Karnataka deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar, accused in money laundering case, to travel abroad.
AdvertisementSpecial Judge Vikas Dhull allowed Congress member Shivakumar to travel to Dubai from November 29 to December 3 on an application moved by him.
The application claimed that he was invited by His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, and Michael R Bloomberg, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solution, to attend the upcoming COP28 Local Climate Action Summit in Dubai, which is an annual international climate summit convened by the United Nations. ”It is a settled principle of law that right to travel abroad is part of personal liberty as per Article 21 of the Constitution of India. However, such right is not unfettered and reasonable restriction can be imposed upon the same. One of the restrictions which can be imposed is to curb the said right during the course of investigation or trial if it appears that accused is likely to abscond and will not be available to face the trial,” the judge said in an order passed on November 25.
Advertisement”In the facts and circumstances, there is no impediment in allowing the application of applicant. Hence the application filed by Shivakumar seeking permission to travel abroad is allowed and he is permitted to travel to Dubai with effect from November 29, 2023 till December 3, 2023,” the judge said. The judge, however, put several conditions on the accused, including that he furnishes an FDR of Rs 5 lakh in his name before the court prior to his travel and files his complete travel itinerary, along with a telephone or mobile number. ”Accused shall not try to contact any of co-accused or try to influence any of the witnesses connected with the present case while travelling abroad,” the judge said. Shivakumar was granted bail on October 23, 2019 by Delhi High Court, with the condition that he will not leave the country without the permission of the court. The application claimed that the accused had on several occasions travelled abroad and returned to India and was not a flight risk. It was further submitted in the plea that the investigation was complete and prosecution complaint was already filed before the court. It was further submitted that applicant has no criminal antecedents. ”Thus, there is no likelihood that applicant will commit any offence or tamper with the evidence or influence any witnesses,” the application claimed. The ED opposed the application, claiming that the accused was involved in a criminal conspiracy to move tainted cash and hide the source of such cash with active participation and help of the other accused. Shivakumar was booked for alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The case was based on a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax Department in 2018 before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and ‘hawala’ transactions worth crores of rupees. The IT department had accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of indulging in transactions involving huge amounts of unaccounted for money on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.