Delhi court pulls ED up for ‘wrongly’ linking min Jain with 3 companies

Updated on Jul 30, 2022 05:27 AM IST

Taking cognizance of the charge sheet filed against Jain, his wife and eight others, including the four companies, special judge Geetanjali Goel asked the agency as to how it could connect the companies with the minister.

Delhi cabinet minister Satyendar Jain. (HT File Photo)(HT_PRINT)
Delhi cabinet minister Satyendar Jain. (HT File Photo)(HT_PRINT)
By, New Delhi

A Delhi court on Friday pulled up the enforcement directorate (ED) for wrongly associating Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister Satyendar Jain to four companies that were booked in a money laundering case and noted that “he was neither the director nor associated with any of them”.

Taking cognizance of the charge sheet filed against Jain, his wife and eight others, including the four companies, special judge Geetanjali Goel asked the agency as to how it could connect the companies with the minister.

“He (Jain) was neither the director nor associated with them. How will the companies become Satyendar Jain’s just by naming him? Is this the first time that you are filing a prosecution complaint? Don’t you vet the document before giving it to the court…Should I conduct a fishing inquiry on the basis of these papers? Do you think IO can give anything he wants? Jain does not become the director just because you have written it,” the judge told additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju.

However, the court added that there is prima facie evidence on record to make out a case against the accused. “Looking at the material on record, it can be said that there is prima facie sufficient incriminating evidence about the involvement of the accused. Thus, cognizance of the offence under Section 3 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 punishable under Section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 is taken,” the court said.

The charge-sheet had mentioned that accused companies -- Akinchan Developers, Paryas Infosolutions, Manglayatan Developers, and JJ Ideal Estate -- have been represented through Satyendar Kumar Jain. “However, the same are admittedly companies and it is not the case of ED that at present Satyendar Kumar Jain is either the director or has been appointed by the said companies to represent them,” the court said.

The court also rapped the federal agency for giving photocopies in the charge sheet. “This would not be proved. Is this how ED functions?,” the judge asked.

When the ASG replied that he would amend the names, the judge said, “I don’t know where the stage of rectification is.”

The court then summoned all the accused who were not in custody to appear before it on August 6.

The court also granted interim bail to Ajit Prasad Jain and Sunil Kumar Jain, who were named as accused in the chargesheet, for a personal bond of 1 lakh and asked their counsels to file for regular bail on the next date of hearing.

When Jain’s interim bail plea came up for hearing, ASG Raju apprised the court about a high court order of Thursday, in which the judge had directed the trial court to not consider Jain’s medical evaluation report from Lok Nayak hospital, after the federal agency contended that the report from the Delhi government-run hospital may be “biased” in favour of the minister.

Raju sought time from the judge saying the high court will on August 17 hear the ED’s plea seeking Jain’s medical examination from a central government hospital.

Following this, the court adjourned the interim bail hearing to August 20.

Jain was arrested on May 30 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and was first sent to police custody and thereafter to judicial custody.

The case is based on a 2017 FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the minister. ED has accused him of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him and in which he was holding shares, while amassing wealth disproportionate to his income.

According to ED, Jain transferred money to Kolkata through a hawala channel and got it back from dummy companies in the form of accommodation entries, even though he could not show the source of the money received.

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    Reports from the Delhi High Court and stories on legal developments in the city. Avid mountain lover, cooking and playing with birds 🐦 when not at work

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