Delhi Court allows ED’s application seeking transfer of Satyendra Jain bail case

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The Principal District & Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Gupta of the Rouse Avenue Court, yesterday, after hearing the contentions of both the parties, on the application of transfer of bail case had reserved the order.

A Delhi Court on Friday allowed an application moved by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for transfer of bail hearing proceedings, against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Minister Satyendra Jain, in a Money Laundering case.

Principal District and Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Gupta of the Rouse Avenue Court, ordered that the case will now be heard by Special Judge Vikas Dhull. Earlier, Special Judge Geetanjali Goel was hearing the bail case of Satyendra Jain.

After obtaining directions from the Supreme Court, the Principal District and Sessions Judge yesterday heard the contention of both the parties and reserved the order on the application of transfer.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) contended, that Satyendra Jain has sought an interim bail and not a regular bail. He also contended that Jain has sought bail on grounds of ill health, whereas, during video-conferencing through Jail he was seen simply lying on the bed, even without an oxygen mask.

ASG Raju argued that Jain has faked his illness throughout and further argues that the Jail is being managed. It is further argued that “Satyendra Jain is the Minister of Jail”. He also stated that when he had pointed out the same to the Special Judge of the CBI Court, no action was taken.

Raju further argued that the medical reports submitted by them are also forged and that the doctors and jail superintendent are all managed. He stated that in his entire career of 42 years he hasn’t seen a medical report that states that due to a “jerky journey”, Jain will not be able to appear before Court. He argued that not even on one hearing Jain has appeared before the court.

He contended, “I fail to understand, how a person is being able to change hospitals, change jails…..can travel, there is no jerky journey the, but when asked to appear before the court he is medically unfit."

It was further stated that justice must not only be done but must also seem to have been done. And that he has an apprehension that the Special Judge is being biased and contended that even the Apex Court states that apprehension is a sufficient ground for transfer of the case.

On the Contrary, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for Satyendra Jain while stating the facts of the case, contended that “I assume they have a genuine apprehension a month before the regular bail was filed, and that the Judge is biased”. Sibal contended that the bail application was filed before the Special Judge on August 17, thereafter arguments took place not one day, but for several days, he added that “on Sept 13 we filed our rejoinder, he argued that as well, till that day there was no bias.”

Sibal further stated that “on September 15, ASG Raju orally informed the Judge that he is moving an application for transfer of the case to another Judge, he did not even file the application there and then, he simply informed that the application will be in the court by Evening”.

Sibal argued that this is purely “malafide” and meant to ensure that their “whims and fancy” are agreed to and to give a message to the Judiciary that if things are not done in our favor, we do this. He further argued that Satyendra Jain is not a Minister of any portfolio, not a Minister of Jail nor a Health Minister, and the Notification of the Presidents says the same.

Concluding arguments, Sibal contended that “there is no illegality that the Judge is biased, she has never given an order in my favor till date”. He also stated that in a transfer case, if there are allegations made against a Judge, it has serious implications for the Judge and the Judiciary.

On September 15, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved an application for transfer of complaint case before the Special CBI Judge Geetanjali Goel. Thereafter, on September 20, Principal District and Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Gupta stayed the bail hearing proceedings against Jain.

The bail application filed by Satyendra Jain pertains to his arrest in a Money Laundering case. Satyendra Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the case on May 31, 2022.

In April, ED attached assets worth Rs 4.81 crore linked to Jain and his family. ED initiated an investigation based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Jain and others under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

It is alleged that when Jain was a public servant, companies owned and controlled by him received up to Rs 4.81 crore from shell companies through the Hawala network.

Case Title: Directorate of Enforcement v. Satyendra Jain