New Delhi [India], June 18 (ANI): Special CBI court on Saturday dismissed the bail plea of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain in a money laundering case noting the seriousness of the allegation. The court further said that as the investigation is still on, the possibility of the accused influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.
Jain was arrested on May 30, 2022, by Enforcement Directorate (ED). He was sent to judicial custody on May 13, 2022, after ED interrogation. His counsels said they will move an application for bail before Delhi High Court.
Special CBI Judge Geetanjali Goel of Rouse Avenue Court, while dismissing the bail application, said, "Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the nature of the allegation against the accused and that the application for bail does not pass muster even on the triple test for the grant of bail at this stage, the application is dismissed without merits."
The court also rejected the medical ground for bail saying, "When no specific ground has been taken in the bail application regarding the medical condition of the accused and no medical documents have been produced to show the medical history of the accused or to show the extent of the medical condition of the accused, only on the ground that the accused suffers from sleep apnea, he cannot be enlarged on bail, by virtue of the first proviso to Section 45(1) of PMLA."
The Court noted the contention of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju and Special Public Prosecutor N. K. Matta for ED that the investigation is going on and there is a threat to witnesses and the accused, being a person, can influence the witnesses.
"While it is true that statements of several witnesses have already been recorded under Section 50 PMLA and ED itself has been tardy and taken considerable time, during which time, the accused, if he wanted to influence the witnesses could have already done so as was contended by the Senior Counsel for the accused, however, looking to the fact that the matter is still at the stage of investigation and the accused enjoys an influential position, it cannot be ruled out that the accused could influence the witnesses," the court observed.
The court noted that the ASG had tried to contend that the accused was non-cooperative during the investigation and gave evasive answers but it is a matter of record that he had joined the investigation on a number of occasions even before his arrest. Further, the accused is a two-time MLA and is a Minister in the present Government in Delhi.
As such the accused cannot be regarded as a flight risk, and if the ED has slept over the case from 2018 to 2021 during which period, the accused even travelled abroad and came back and join the investigation, it cannot now contend that the accused is a flight risk or he would flee away from justice, the court also noted.
ED registered the ECIR on 30 August 2017 on the basis of a case registered by the CBI on 24 August 2017 under Sections of Prevention of Corruption Act and Indin Penal Code, against Satyender Jain, his wife, and 4 other accused persons.
CBI had alleged that the accused while posted as Minister in Delhi government during the period 14 February 2015 to 31 May 2017, acquired assets to the tune of Rs 1,62,50,294 in his name and in the names of his family members, which were disproportionate to his known source of income. It was further alleged the accused's wife and other accused persons, who were his business associates, had abetted the above offence.
It was also alleged that the accused had active control over three companies namely, M/s. Akinchan Developers Pvt. Ltd., M/s Paryas Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd. and M/s Manglaytan Projects Pvt. Ltd. and the said three companies received accommodation entries from Kolkata-based shell companies. It was alleged that though the accused resigned as Director of the companies in 2013, still he maintained active control of the said companies.
It was further alleged that during the check period from February 2015 to May 2017 an amount of Rs. 4.61 crores was received from shell companies and 1/3 of the same belonged to the accused and hence a disproportionate asset (DA) of Rs. 1,47,60,497 was alleged. (ANI)