12 Sep 2023 9:05 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned until September 25 the hearing of the bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Delhi government cabinet minister Satyendar Jain in a money laundering case. Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in May 2022 and was granted interim bail due to medical reasons earlier this year. The court today clarified that this interim relief...
The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned until September 25 the hearing of the bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Delhi government cabinet minister Satyendar Jain in a money laundering case. Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in May 2022 and was granted interim bail due to medical reasons earlier this year. The court today clarified that this interim relief will continue until the next date of the hearing.
A bench comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Bela M Trivedi was hearing Jain’s plea challenging the decision of the Delhi High Court to deny him bail in April.
Last month, the court extended Jain’s interim bail for the second time after Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the embattled legislator, 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 until September 1. The court also listed his main bail application to be heard on the same day. On September 1, the hearing was adjourned after Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra recused himself from hearing Jain’s bail plea.
The bench agreed to adjourn today’s hearing after Additional Solicitor-General SV Raju requested an adjournment. “This matter may be kept by consent on September 25. Interim relief may be extended,” the law officer told the bench. Singhvi readily agreed to this suggestion, after which Justice Bopanna directed the matter to be re-listed on September 25.
The court also directed co-accused Ankush Jain to be released on interim bail for four weeks on medical grounds, after being informed that his child had to undergo an urgent colon surgery. Another accused in the money laundering case, Vaibhav Jain, was released for a period of four weeks as an interim measure last month on grounds of his mother’s impending spinal cord operation.
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, 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 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.
Satyendar Kumar Jain v. Directorate of Enforcement | Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 6561 of 2023
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