New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday said it would hear on September 26 the plea by Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar seeking copy of his statements recorded by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case. Justice Brijesh Sethi fixed the matter for the next date after Shivakumar’s lawyer said the senior advocate who has to argue the case was not available. Shivakumar, arrested by the ED on September 3, sought the court’s direction to call for the transcript of his statements recorded by an Assistant Director of the ED under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghHe also sought from the court to hold that the probe agency has no jurisdiction to invoke provisions of PMLA against him. Shivakumar, MLA from Kanakapura assembly seat, is in judicial custody till October 1 and his bail plea is pending before a trial court here. In his plea before the high court, he claimed that the statement under Section 50 of the PMLA could only be recorded by the Director of the ED and the statement recorded by any other officer in Shivakumar’s case be removed from the records. He said that in no manner he can be linked to money laundering as contemplated under the PMLA and alleged that the ED officers “for extraneous reasons, are trying to impute criminality into the same, so as to harass him”. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadThe proceedings initiated against Shivakumar are “laced with bias” at the behest of the ED officials, the plea alleged, adding that the investigation was conducted with “political bias”. The trial court had earlier allowed ED to interrogate the politician in custody, saying the allegations made against him were serious in nature. The ED has also questioned Shivakumar’s daughter Aisshwarya, a management graduate, and her statement was recorded under PMLA. According to sources, she was also confronted with documents and statements made by Shivakumar with regard to a trip to Singapore he made with her in 2017. Aisshwarya is a trustee in an education trust floated by her father.
Shimla: In spot over raising the limit of MLAs travel allowance, both within the country and abroad, former PCC president and sitting MLA Sukhwinder Sukhu on Sunday racked-up a new issue as he shot off a letter asking Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to withdraw tax concessions to MLAs and cabinet ministers.Sukhu said, “There is a practice in the state wherein the state government has been paying the Income-tax dues of the cabinet ministers and MLAs. This means the ministers and MLAs — who are public representatives are not paying the income tax outcome of their earnings, salaries and allowances. It is sending a very wrong message to the public.” Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghCongress MLA suggested the Chief Minister get the issue examined and accept his demand to put this practice to an end. “Why not the cabinet ministers and MLAs be paying their Income Tax for the salary and allowances they have withdrawn?” he asked. He was of the view that if the state government stops paying income tax dues of the ministers and MLAs it will send a right message to the public and restore faith in them, which was gradually eroding. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad”It will also have some other advantages like clearing an impression that cabinet ministers and MLAs are a privileged class. They are required to pay their income tax,” Sukhu underlined. Further, he claimed that the decision to withdraw the facility will bring a lot of transparency in politics and public life. Currently, the MLAs and also MPs are not getting due respect in the eyes of the public. Sukhu’s move comes close to the heels of state assembly passing a bill to raise the limit of the travel allowance for the cabinet ministers, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and MLAs from Rs 2.50 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per annum. The move had attracted strong public reactions as people had questioned the justifications behind this. Lone CPM MLA Rakesh Singha has not only opposed the facility but has announced not to avail it. He has termed it a burden on the state exchequer, which was already under financial stress because of Rs 50,000 crore debt on the state. Sukhu, on the other hand, had supported the move and also maintained that the facility doesn’t was a farce. “This benefit accrues to the MLAs only if they travel abroad or else outside the state. It’s like LTA benefit. The limit raised to Rs 4 lakhs is notional and not in any manner going to the MLAs pockets. The state assembly records reveal 90 per cent of the MLAs has never available the facility,” he explained. He rather had asked for adopting Punjab pattern to provide official vehicles to the MLAs. The Rs 4 crore so raised should rather go to bank accounts of the MLAs for travelling within the constituency or else. The Chief Minister admits that he should not have agreed to the MLAs demand as the issue has drawn flack without anything paid to the MLAs in reality. “If MLAs surrenders facility voluntarily, I will roll back the decision,” he offered.