Cong leder Shivakumar walks out of Tihar jail after 50 days in prison

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New Delhi: Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar was released from Tihar Jail on Wednesday evening following the Delhi High Court order granting him bail, said a jail official.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi HC granted bail to DK Shivakumar, saying he cannot tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses.

Justice Suresh Kait said the Congress leader was “entitled” for grant of bail as no material has been shown to indicate that he was a flight risk.

The judge also said that Shivakumar, 57, cannot tamper with the evidence as the documents are with the investigating agencies.

The court further said that he no longer was in power and there was no evidence to show that he or his family members or close associates attempted to influence witnesses. It directed however that he be released on bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 25 lakh and two sureties of like amount.

The other conditions laid down by the high court while granting him the relief include not leaving the country with the concerned trial court’s permission, making himself available for interrogation when required and not to influence the witnesses.

Shivakumar was arrested by the ED on September 3 in the money laundering case. He is lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody and had challenged the trial court’s order denying him bail in the case.

The ED had opposed his bail plea saying he was an influential person and he could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses if released.

Shivakumar, a 7-time MLA in Karnataka, was booked along with Haumanthaiah — an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi– and others for alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The case was based on a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and ‘hawala’ transactions worth crores or rupees.

The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of indulging in transactions involving huge amounts of unaccounted money on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.

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