BENGALURU: Karnataka High Court on Monday stayed the sanction granted by the Principal Director (Investigation) of the I-T Department to prosecute Water Resources and Medical Education Minister D K Shivakumar and four others.
Justice B Veerappa stayed the sanction granted to prosecute the accused after hearing a petition filed by one of the accused Sachin Narayan, a business associate of Shivakumar.
As the sanction order was common to all the five accused, the court also stayed all further proceedings initiated against all of them based on the sanction order dated May 28, 2018, until further orders.
The four others accused are Sachin Narayan, Sunil Kumar Sharma, proprietor of Sharma Transports, Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah, working as Assistant Liaison Officer in Karnataka Bhavan, New Delhi and N Rajendra, a retired caretaker of Karnataka Bhavan.
Based on the sanction, the I-T Department registered a complaint against the accused before the Special Court for Economic Offences in the city on the charge of wilfully attempting to evade tax and filing false I-T returns after the I-T Department seized Rs 8.59 crore during a raid conducted at a flat in Delhi in 2017.
Taking cognisance of the complaint filed by the I-T Department last June, the Special Court had issued summons to the accused to appear before it on August 2.
Sachin Narayan claimed it was the Commissioner of I-T who is the competent authority to give sanction to prosecute the accused as per Section 279 of the I-T Act. But, in this case, the Principal Director (Investigation) had given sanction and the same was bad in law, he said.