I-T seizes over Rs15-cr from Karnataka minister

The Income Tax (I-T) Department has so far seized cash and jewellery worth Rs15 crore from Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar as it continued with searches on properties linked to him.

Shivakumar, who is hosting 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs at a resort near Bengaluru, is reported to have properties in several locations in Karnataka. and New Delhi. The MLAs are being kept in a Bengaluru resort to avoid poaching by BJP ahead of the 8 August Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.

Income tax sleuths have seized Rs8.33 crore cash from his Delhi properties, while Rs2.5 crore was seized from Bengaluru. and Rs60 lakh from Mysuru. "Apart from cash, jewellery worth about Rs4.4 crore has also been recovered. Some searches and surveys are still on," I-T sources said.

I-T officials said the department is also analysing some documents related to Shivakumar's investments in real estate, including some alleged benami transactions, even as some of the raids continued.

These include Shivakumar's investments in Singapore and other foreign locations as also some shell firms and their operatives allegedly linked to this case, IT sources said

The I-T Department is expected to rope in the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI as it extends probe against the minister and his associates under the Anti-Corruption Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), respectively.

On Wednesday, the I-T Department had conducted searches on 64 locations and properties linked to Shivakumar, which triggered protests in Parliament alleging witch hunt by the government.

The raids coming ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat have angered the Congress. Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah alleged it was a politically motivated action to silence the voice against the BJP.