Supreme Court First Says Satyendar Jain Should Surrender, Later Agrees To Extend Interim Bail Till January 8

Awstika Das

14 Dec 2023 11:13 AM GMT

  • Supreme Court First Says Satyendar Jain Should Surrender, Later Agrees To Extend Interim Bail Till January 8

    The Supreme Court on Thursday (December 14), while hearing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Satyendar Jain's bail plea, extended until January 8 an order granting interim bail on medical grounds in May this year. A bench comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and Satish Chandra Sharma heard the special leave petition filed by Jain, who was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in May...

    The Supreme Court on Thursday (December 14), while hearing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Satyendar Jain's bail plea, extended until January 8 an order granting interim bail on medical grounds in May this year.

    A bench comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and Satish Chandra Sharma heard the special leave petition filed by Jain, who was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in May 2022. 

    Initially, the bench indicated that Jain would be sent back to jail. While agreeing to hear the main bail application in January, Justice Trivedi said at the outset of the hearing, "But he will have to surrender. He is also not cooperating with the trial..."

    Jain's lawyers, however, strongly protested against a cancellation of his interim bail, pointing to a fall suffered by the embattled legislator as a result of imbalance caused due to his spinal operation. ASG Raju, on the other hand, argued that the rest prescribed by doctors to treat the fifth metatarsal fracture of his left foot could be offered in jail. He also insisted that the fracture was 'quite common'. Agreeing, Justice Trivedi said, "This can happen to healthy people as well. This is a most common fracture."

    In response, Singhvi strongly objected to the law officer's suggestion to direct Jain's immediate surrender. He told the bench -

    "The heavens will not fall if this goes to January. Usually, except for extraordinary circumstances, he ought not to be asked to surrender immediately. If he must be sent back, after having suffered one year in jail and being on medical bail till recently, then so be it. This is vendetta. They want a pound of flesh."

    "There's no vendetta. You are doing your duty. It's his duty to see whether the application is genuine," Justice Trivedi said, defending the additional solicitor-general against charges of vendetta. 

    The court was also informed that a total of fourteen extensions had been granted to the AAP leader, since his release on interim bail in May this year. "The last extension was on December 11," ASG Raju told the bench. Despite its initial reluctance to extend interim bail, the bench ultimately acceded to Singhvi's request, pronouncing -

    "The instant IA has been filed to bring on record subsequent records and documents by the petitioner. Learned senior counsel, Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, has submitted that during the course of his release on medical bail, the petitioner suffered a fall on December 9 leading to an injury. According to him, Jain has been diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metatarsal of the left foot. He has relied upon medical papers of Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi and prayed for a continuation of the interim bail for some more days. However, learned Additional Solicitor General SV Raju has submitted that the petitioner has been out on medical bail since May 2023 and for one reason or the other, the same has been extended. He further has submitted that the petitioner and other accused have not been cooperating with the trial court to proceed further with the trial. He has also submitted that new documents have been filed at the last minute without allowing the other side time to verify the same...Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, we are inclined to extend the interim order. List on January 8."

    After pronouncing the order, Justice Trivedi clarified, "The matter shall be heard peremptorily on that day."

    While Jain's interim bail was extended, the court asked co-accused Ankush Jain and Vaibhav Jain to surrender by December 27. Ankush was released on interim bail in September for four weeks on medical grounds, after being informed that his child had to undergo an urgent colon surgery. Vaibhav was released for a period of four weeks as an interim measure in August on grounds of his mother's impending spinal cord operation.

    Earlier in the day, Singhvi approached the Chief Justice of India raising an objection to the listing of Jain's petition before the bench of Justice Bela Trivedi, saying that the matter was earlier heard by Justice Bopanna.  The CJI clarified that the matter was assigned to Justice Trivedi since Justice Bopanna was unavailable due to health reasons.

    What happened so far in the case?

    Jain, a former Cabinet Minister of the Delhi Government, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case on May 30, 2022. He remained in custody until a vacation bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha granted him interim bail on health grounds on May 26 this year.

    In August, the court extended Jain's interim bail for the second time after Singhvi stated that he was undergoing rehabilitation following a complex spinal operation. Despite opposition from Additional Solicitor-General SV Raju, who advocated for an independent examination by AIIMS and a cancellation of interim bail, the bench agreed to defer Jain's surrender. Since then, the case has witnessed a number of adjournments. But during one such hearing that subsequently got adjourned, the additional solicitor-general flagged alleged delay tactics being used by Jain to push back the trial court hearing. In response, the apex court directed him to 'diligently' participate in the ongoing proceedings before the trial court. "It is made clear pendency of proceedings before this court or any reason shall not be used as an excuse or ruse to defer proceedings before trial court, but would diligently take part in proceedings before the trial court and permit the case to progress," the bench ordered.

    The law officer's allegation, however, was met with opposition from the petitioner's lawyer during a subsequent hearing. Among other things, Singhvi also questioned the necessity of Jain's arrest, pointing to the need to show a "demonstrable, obvious, and palpable reason for making an arrest". Since his arrest in May last year, Jain has spent almost an entire year in jail before finally being released on interim medical bail to undergo a spinal operation, the senior counsel told the court. Responding to the ED's claim that Jain was the beneficiary and controller of the 'irregular' transactions under its scanner, Singhvi pointed out he was neither a director of any of the three companies that allegedly received laundered money after being routed through Kolkata-based shell companies in the form of investments, nor had he financially benefitted from the amounts that were suspected to have been transferred from the three companies to co-accused Vaibhav and Ankush Jain.


    In 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation 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 the Delhi government. It was alleged that the money laundering exercise was carried out through three companies – Paryas Infosolution, 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 case lodged by the Directorate of Enforcement is based on the CBI complaint and alleges that Jain signed conveyance deeds for the purchase of agricultural 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.

    Last year, the ED year attached properties worth Rs. 4.81 crores 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. The Aam Aadmi Party leader was taken in custody in connection with the money laundering case on May 30, 2022.

    In November of last year, the bail application of the former cabinet minister was dismissed by a trial court, which said that it had prima facie come on record that Jain was 'actually involved' in concealing the proceeds of crime by giving cash to the Kolkata-based entry operators and thereafter, bringing the cash into three companies against the sale of shares to show that income of these three companies was untainted.

    Subsequently, his bail was denied by the Delhi High Court as well in April, on the ground that he was an influential person and had the potential of tampering with evidence. As such, the twin conditions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 were held to not be satisfied. Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma also denied bail to co-accused Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain.

    In May, a vacation bench headed by Justice JK Maheshwari granted interim bail to the Aam Aadmi Party leader on medical grounds, which was extended by the court in July.

    Case Title

    Satyendar Kumar Jain v. Directorate of Enforcement | Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 6561 of 2023

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