The Delhi High Court on Monday closed a proceeding against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain under the amended benami transactions law in consonance with a Supreme Court ruling.
The case against Mr. Jain relates to a 2017 complaint to the Lokayukta seeking investigation into alleged benami transactions by the Delhi Minister. Mr. Jain had moved the High Court against the initiation of proceedings under the under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.
In August, the Supreme Court had ruled that Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 did not have retrospective application and the authorities could not initiate or continue criminal prosecution or confiscation proceedings for transactions entered into prior to the coming into force of the legislation.
“Accordingly, and in view of the law as declared by the Supreme Court, the writ petitions are allowed and all proceedings initiated under the enactment shall consequently stand closed,” Justice Yashwant Varma said on Monday.
On September 20, the High Court had ordered that “no action, coercive or otherwise, shall be taken against the petitioners here under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016” till further orders.
According to Mr. Jain, the alleged benami transactions, from the proceeds of which certain attached assets were claimed to have been purchased, took place between 2011 and March 31, 2016, and so the amendment which came into effect in November 2016 would not apply.
His counsel had earlier claimed the benami proceedings were in the nature of “political persecution”.