Court says Satyendar Jain 'prima facie' concealed 'proceeds of crime', denies bail

AAP leader, two others accused in money laundering case by ED

November 17, 2022 08:26 pm | Updated November 18, 2022 12:08 am IST - New Delhi

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain | Photo Credit: PTI

Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain was denied bail for the second time in six months in a money laundering case.

While denying bail to Mr. Jain and two others on Thursday, Special CBI Judge Vikas Dhull, in a 55-page order, noted that “prima facie Satyendar Kumar Jain was actually involved in concealing the proceeds of crime to the tune of one-third of ₹4.61 crore.”

As per the order, Mr. Jain is accused of giving the cash to Kolkata-based entry operators and bringing it into three companies against the sale of shares to show that the income of these companies was untainted.

Co-accused Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain were also denied bail, with the judge noting that they “knowingly” assisted Mr. Jain in concealing the proceeds of crime and were “prima facie guilty” of money laundering.

The money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is based on a disproportionate assets FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in August 2017. The ED has already filed a prosecution complaint (akin to a chargesheet) under relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Jain and two others and four companies purportedly associated with them for allegedly laundering proceeds of crime worth over ₹4.5 crore.

The court also quoted a Supreme Court order which had held that “economic offences have deep-rooted conspiracies and involve huge loss of public funds”, which “need to be viewed seriously and considered as grave offences affecting the economy of the country as a whole and thereby posing serious threat to the financial health of the country.”

“Hence, applicant Satyendar Kumar Jain is not entitled to the benefit of bail having regard to the twin conditions provided in Section 45 of the PMLA. Hence, application of applicant/accused Satyendar Kumar Jain is dismissed,” the order said.

“In the opinion of this court, ‘proceeds of crime’ was the amount which was generated by applicant/accused Satyendar Kumar Jain while working as a Minister in the Government of Delhi, for which he could not satisfactorily account for,” the court maintained.

“... having regard to the fact that... was in the exclusive knowledge of Satyendar Kumar Jain and other two co-accused persons and since they have not been forthcoming in their statements regarding the share of cash given by them, therefore, whatever amount of cash was given to the Kolkata-based entry operators has to be divided equally between the accused.

“Hence, Satyendar Kumar Jain has prima facie indulged in the offence of money laundering of more than ₹1 crore,” the court added.

In the over two-month long hearing, the ED first applied for a change of judge. The matter was previously being heard by Justice Geetanjali Goel.

After the matter was taken up in the court of Justice Dhull, the ED said it has all evidences against Mr. Jain. The agency’s counsel also maintained that due to his influence, Mr. Jain is getting VIP treatment in jail. Mr. Jain’s lawyer had maintained that the case against him is baseless and the ED’s allegations about VIP treatment are meant to influence the judge.

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