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PMLA Case: Delhi High Court Seeks ED's Response On Satyendar Jain's Plea Against Transfer Of Proceedings

Nupur Thapliyal
26 Sep 2022 6:09 AM GMT
PMLA Case: Delhi High Court Seeks EDs Response On Satyendar Jains Plea Against Transfer Of Proceedings
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The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice on Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain's plea challenging the transfer of proceedings against him in a money laundering case from a Special Court to another judge, last week. Justice Yogesh Khanna also ordered the probe agency to file a short response to the plea, while posting the matter for final disposal on September...

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice on Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain's plea challenging the transfer of proceedings against him in a money laundering case from a Special Court to another judge, last week.

 Justice Yogesh Khanna also ordered the probe agency to file a short response to the plea, while posting the matter for final disposal on September 28.

"Issue notice. Let a short reply be filed in the matter. List for final disposal on 28th [September]," the Court said.

Principal District & Sessions Judge of Rouse Avenue Courts last week allowed an application moved by the probe agency seeking transfer of proceedings against Jain in the matter. The case, which was earlier being heard by Special Judge Geetanjali Goel, was directed to be heard by Special Judge Vikas Dhull.

During the course of hearing before Justice Khanna, Senior Advocate N Hariharan, appearing for Jain, argued that the Principal Sessions & District Judge failed to consider the relevant issues and the factors which lead to a reasonable bias.

"The order itself states that the judge was upright. Where is the question of bias then? The bias is unfounded," he said

He added "It sends a wrong message from top to the bottom."

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appeared for Enforcement Directorate.

About Impugned Order

Appearing for the agency before trial court, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju had told the Court that having served as Minister of Health and Jails in the city, Jain could influence the doctors and jail authorities and manage to get forged documents while seeking interim bail on grounds ill health.

Raju had argued that Jain faked his illness and got himself admitted in a hospital, being administratively run by the Delhi Government.

Therefore, Raju said that the agency has an apprehension of bias against the Special Judge in deciding the matter, on the ground that despite bringing on record various documents to show that Jain was an influencing personality and documents may be forged in his favour, the Judge refused to consider the same.

Raju also submitted that even a common man would know that if a minister heading a hospital is admitted, there will be an element of bias as to how he will be examined in the said hospital.

On the other hand, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Jain took the Court through the facts of the case by submitting that the issue arose after Jain moved a regular bail application before the Special Judge on August 17, having been denied the same once in June.

Calling the agency's application as a mala fide plea, Sibal said that no apprehension was put forth by ED before September 15 when the matter was being heard in its final stages.

Sibal also said that as per an official notification, Jain was not holding the ministerial position of any department anymore. He also said that merely because the hospital where Jain was admitted was under the adminstrative control of Delhi goverment is no ground to allege bias.

About the Case

After an ED's plea seeking transfer of the case from a Special Court, the Principal District & Sessions Judge on September 19 stayed the proceedings in the matter and posted the application for hearing on September 30.

However, after an urgent mentioning before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Principal District & Sessions Judge was directed to take up, hear and dispose of the plea by today itself.

ED had attached properties worth Rs. 4.81 crore belonging to five companies and others in connection with an alleged disproportionate assets 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.

The money laundering case is based upon an FIR registered by the CBI against the minister and other individuals in the year 2017, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, wherein it was alleged that during the period of February 2015 to May 2017, the minister had acquired assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. The CBI had then filed a chargesheet in December 2018 against Jain.

Presently, Jain is in judicial custody in the said money laundering case.

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