ED Approaches Delhi HC Against Transfer Of Judge In Bhushan Steel Money Laundering Case

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Per ED’s case, Bhushan Steel's Managing Director Neeraj Singal and associates used shell companies to rotate funds for capital, property, and personal use. Allegedly, accused Ajay Mittal and Archana Mittal, both knowingly received proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 70 crore

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a petition before the Delhi High Court challenging transfer of a case from a judge who made a remark upon bail in ED matters. The judge had said, "ED matters me kaun si bail hoti hai? (In ED matters, where is the question of bail?)".

The bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma issued notice to accused Ajay S Mittal and listed the matter for May 22. 

It was Mittal's plea that led to the case being transferred from Special Judge Jagdish Kumar to Special Judge Mukesh Kumar.

On May 1, the District & Sessions Judge at Rouse Avenue Courtordered the case's transfer. The court had then observed that Mittal's concerns about the judge's potential bias in favor of the ED were not unfounded. The judge had stated that transferring the proceedings to another competent court would not prejudice the respondent and had allowed the application.

ED, represented by Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain, argued that the case contained serious issues requiring the High Court's attention. He emphasized the seriousness of the case and the necessity for the High Court to examine it. 

Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur, representing Mittal, contended that while the High Court was considering the matter, the trial court should hear Mittal's bail plea. Hossain opposed this, stating it would render the ED's plea ineffective. 

Senior Advocate Mathur further claimed that the ED had not served his client with a copy of the plea challenging the transfer. Hossain responded that the copy had been served but would be reissued if Mathur had not received it. 

Mittal's case involved his bail plea, which was scheduled for hearing before Judge Jagdish Kumar on April 10. The counsel requested additional time for preparation, and the matter was adjourned to April 25.

It was Mittal’s wife, also an accused, who had observed the proceedings and reported that the judge after the counsel left, remarked to court staff, 'Lene do date, ED matters main kaun si bail hoti hai?' (let them keep taking dates, where is the question of bail in ED cases?)

The ED had opposed Mittal's transfer plea, arguing that he failed to demonstrate a reasonable apprehension based on the entirety of the facts..

Case Title: Directorate of Enforcement v Ajay S Mittal