'Strong Observations' Don't Imply Unfair Trial: Delhi Court Dismisses Satyendar Jain’s Pleas Seeking Transfer Of CBI, ED Cases To Different Judge
A Delhi Court today dismissed two applications moved by Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain seeking transfer of the cases registered against him by Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate to a different judge.Principal District & Sessions Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna observed that strong observations made by a judge cannot itself be the basis to conclude that judge is...
A Delhi Court today dismissed two applications moved by Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain seeking transfer of the cases registered against him by Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate to a different judge.
Principal District & Sessions Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna observed that strong observations made by a judge cannot itself be the basis to conclude that judge is not holding the trial in a fair and impartial manner.
“A Judge is supposed to conduct the proceedings without fear and favour. During the course of proceedings, some orders may favour prosecution and some may favour defence but such orders cannot be made the basis of attributing bias to the Judge concerned,” the court said.
The court observed that the judge [Special Judge Vikas Dhull] has been dealing with the matters properly by following the rules of natural justice. It thus found nothing against the neutrality and impartiality of the judge and said that the plea of bias as perceived by Jain was not correct.
“In my opinion, this is not a fit case for allowing transfer applications of the applicant. Accordingly, applications are dismissed,” the court said.
It added, “Judicial orders are open to scrutiny by higher courts and just because some orders are against a particular side, cannot be a ground to transfer the case. The allegations of bias or prejudice are easy to plead but difficult to establish.”
Jain was denied bail by the Delhi High Court in both CBI and ED cases. However, the Supreme Court has granted him interim bail in the money laundering case till September 25.
Jain sought transfer of his cases from Special Judge Dhull arguing that he had pre-decided the matter and returned findings in the CBI case against him.
He also contended that while adjudicating his bail plea in ED case, serious observations were made by the judge on the CBI case. He thus had severe apprehension that he will not get fair hearing before the judge Dhull.
Rejecting the applications, the court said that the parameters for grant of bail and legal requirements for framing of charge are different and that the pleas had no merit.
“When a matter is transferred from one court to another, on the basis of apprehension of bias, it has larger repercussions. It not only derails the trial but is also demoralizing and demotivating for the judge concerned. Therefore, the transfer cannot be allowed on flimsy grounds as also law is well settled in this regard,” the court said.
About the Case
ED had last year attached properties worth Rs. 4.81 crore belonging to five companies and others in the money laundering case against Jain and others. These assets reportedly were in the name of Akinchan Developers, Indo Metal Impex, Paryas Infosolutions, Mangalayatan Projects and J.J. Ideal Estate etc.
In 2017, the CBI had accused Jain and others of laundering money to the tune of Rs 11.78 crore during 2010-2012 and Rs 4.63 crores during 2015-16, when he had become a minister in Delhi government, through three companies - Paryas Infosolution, Indo Metalimpex, Akinchan Developers and Mangalayatan Projects.
Jain allegedly had given money to some Kolkata based entry operators of different shell companies for accommodation entries, through his associates. The entry operators had then allegedly re-routed the money in the form of investment through shares in Jain-linked companies after "layering them through shell companies".
The ED case, which is based on the CBI FIR, alleges tha Jain signed conveyance deeds for purchase of agriculture lands by Prayas Infosolutions in 2011 and 2012. The central agency has further alleged that the land was later transferred to family members of Jain's associates who denied knowledge about the transfers.