No action against Satyendar Jain in benami case, orders Delhi HC

Updated on Sep 21, 2022 12:15 AM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday said that no action, coercive or otherwise, should be taken by the authorities against Delhi minister Satyendar Jain under the amended Benami law

New Delhi, India - October 10, 2020: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Kumar Jain speaks during a press conference, at Civil Lines in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, October 10, 2020. (Photo by Amal KS/ Hindustan Times) (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
New Delhi, India - October 10, 2020: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Kumar Jain speaks during a press conference, at Civil Lines in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, October 10, 2020. (Photo by Amal KS/ Hindustan Times) (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday said that no action, coercive or otherwise, should be taken by the authorities against Delhi minister Satyendar Jain under the amended Benami law.

Justice Yashwant Varma passed the order while hearing a batch of pleas by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator and others against the proceedings under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.

The case pertains to a complaint to the Lokayukta against Jain in 2017, seeking probe into alleged benaami transactions by the Delhi minister.

Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for Jain, said that the Benami proceedings against the AAP leader were in the nature of “political persecution”.

Jain had filed the petition in 2017 against the proceedings initiated against him under the new Benami law. According to Jain, the alleged Benami transactions, from the proceeds of which certain attached assets were claimed to have been purchased, took place between 2011 to March 31, 2016, and hence, the amendment which came into effect in November 2016 would not apply.

The high court verdict came in the light of last month’s Supreme Court verdict that Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 did not have retrospective application, and the authorities cannot initiate or continue criminal prosecution or confiscation proceedings for transactions entered into prior to the coming into force of the legislation.

Counsel for the income tax department, advocate Zoheb Hossain, told the court that “nothing is happening” and prayed for accommodation on account of the Solicitor General not being available.

The matter would be heard next on October 10.

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