“Will approach High Court”: Sr. Adv Rahul Mehra for Satyendra Jain withdraws plea against airing of Jail CCTV footage

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The court was hearing a plea filed by Jain, restraining media channels to air/broadcasting any CCTV clippings from Jain’s cell in Tihar Jail.

Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra appearing for Satyendra Jain on Thursday withdrew an application filed seeking directions to restrain media to air any CCTV footage from Jain’s cell in Tihar Jail.

On Wednesday, Aam Aadmi Party Minister Satyendra Jain moved an application before the Delhi Court seeking directions to restrain media to air/broadcast any clip of CCTV related to him in jail. The court had issued notice to the Tihar Jail authorities and sought a response to the plea.

During the hearing today, the Senior Advocate sought directions to restrain 12 media houses from broadcasting any clip of CCTV related to Jain's cell. Mehra argued that there was leakage on somebody’s part and it has been run all over the media.

On the other hand, Advocate Abhijit Shankar appearing for the Tihar Jail contended that, they (jail authorities) as per the summons of the Directorate of Enforcement in September had supplied the CCTV clippings to them and that there was no third party involved in it.

Rejecting, the senior counsel's contention to restrain 12 media houses, Special Judge Vikas Dhull of the Rouse Avenue Court stated, “I don’t have inherent power to pass such orders, you can approach the High Court”.

Consequently, Mehra for Jain requested the court to kindly allow them to withdraw the application and said, “We will move to the High Court”. He further requested a Dasti.

Accordingly, the court allowed the withdrawal of the application.

On Tuesday, Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra appealed before a Delhi Court for a fair trial and contended that “We just want a fair trial. Even Ajmal Kasab was given that. I (Jain) am surely not worse than that”.

The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by Jain, alleging that the Directorate of Enforcement leaked certain CCTV footage on the national news channels.

During the hearing, Mehra had contended that “Even today, before the ED’s reply in the contempt plea, is presented before the court or is served to us, it has been leaked and their response is being circulated on the national news channels”. He even showed the court the screenshots of the news being run on channels. Mehra also stated that even last time, the affidavit of the Tihar Jail was leaked.

On the other hand, opposing the contempt plea, Public Prosecutor Zoheb Hossain appearing for ED had contended that there has been no leak from the agency and submitted a list of jail authorities of Tihar who have either been transferred or have been suspended. He added that the list includes top authorities as well.

Mehra had alleged that ED’s response being leaked and circulated in the national news channels has been done by the agency itself, as this cannot be done by the jail authorities. He requested the court to transfer the case to the High Court and also requested to conduct a free and fair inquiry into the leakage of the videos and reply of the investigating agency. Mehra suggested that a retired judge be assigned to conduct the inquiry. Furthermore, he argued that prejudice is being caused to us (Jain) every second.

Hossain had contended that they (Jain’s counsel) are not questioning the veracity of the video, they are just questioning the leak. He argued that the pen drive containing the CCTV footage of the Tihar Jail was taken from the jail authorities, and further contended that there are several repositories involved.

Hossain had also submitted that Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju will be leading the case, and due to personal difficulty is not available this week. Hossain requested the matter to be heard next week sometime.

Taking note of the submissions, the court had adjourned the matter and listed it for hearing on November 28.

Last week, the court denied bail to Aam Aadmi Party Minister Satyendra Jain and the two co-accused Ankush Jain and Vaibhav Jain in a Money Laundering Case.

Case Title: Directorate of Enforcement v. Satyendar Kumar Jain and Ors.