Bengaluru: The Supreme Court on Monday September 19 issued notice to Karnataka Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar on the Income Tax department’s plea challenging his discharge in tax evasion cases.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and J K Maheshwari said there would be an interim stay on some observations made by the Karnataka High Court in connection with the power of the special court to take cognizance of criminal complaints made by the officer.
During the hearing, the top court noted that it would have to set aside some findings and the other contentions would have to be examined on merits.
Additional Solicitor General N. Venkatraman appeared for the Income Tax department and senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and C.A. Sundaram represented Shivakumar.
After hearing arguments in the matter, the top court said it is open for the Income Tax Department to file a fresh prosecution and issued notice on its plea.
The Karnataka High Court, in April 2021, had refused to entertain the revision petitions by the I-T Department against Shivakumar. The department had moved the high court challenging the special court’s February 2019 decision to discharge Shivakumar in three cases related to the raid in August 2017.
Three complaints were filed by the I-T Department against the Congress leader for tax evasion to the tune of Rs 3.14 crore, 2.56 crore, and 7.08 crore for the assessment year 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively. The special court quashed the proceedings; however, it permitted the I-T Department to go ahead with a fresh prosecution.