Delhi

Satyendar Jain claims memory loss when confronted with evidence: ED

“Did I [Mr. Jain] have a dream then that I would become a politician and hold public office and that this would become a crime? My party was not even formed then,” said N Hariharan, Satyendar Jain’s counsel, in the Special Court

“Did I [Mr. Jain] have a dream then that I would become a politician and hold public office and that this would become a crime? My party was not even formed then,” said N Hariharan, Satyendar Jain’s counsel, in the Special Court | Photo Credit: File Photo

Opposing the bail application of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain in a money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday said that when Mr. Jain was confronted with documents related to his alleged hawala transactions he claimed to have lost his memory as a consequence of having suffered from COVID-19.

Appearing for the agency, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju made these submissions before Special Judge Geetanjali Goel, adding that the ED had unearthed some material indicating more instances of alleged laundering and links of Mr. Jain to one Lala Sher Singh Trust.

More ‘evidence’

The agency alleged that certain accommodation entries were made from this trust, which needed further probe. The ED also alleged that in addition to the entries worth ₹4.81 crore found during the check period, it had found material to suggest that entries worth a total of ₹17 crore had been made.

Therefore, the agency alleged, the scope of the money laundering case against Mr. Jain was much wider than its earlier assumption.

The agency said that the material with regards to the Lala Sher Singh Trust was from 2018, which the court noted was outside the check period of 2015-2017. The court asked the agency whether it could include this material as part of the probe in the current case.

The agency insisted that it had stumbled upon this material during its probe and asserted its right to go ahead with the investigation in this regard.

Arguing for Mr. Jain’s bail, Senior Advocate N Hariharan said that the material gathered by the ED did not establish prima facie guilt.

‘No malpractice’

Responding to another accusation levelled by the ED — that Mr. Jain had allegedly conspired to launder the money in a 2010 meeting with people running shell companies in Kolkata — Mr. Hariharan said, “Did I [Mr. Jain] have a dream then that I would become a politician and hold public office and that this would become a crime? My party was not even formed then.”

Agency’s case

In its earlier remand application, the ED had alleged that accommodation entries were received in four Delhi-based companies beneficially controlled by Mr. Jain — Akinchan Developers Pvt. Ltd., Paryas Infosolution Pvt. Ltd., Mangalayatan Projects Pvt. Ltd., and JJ Ideal Estate — in exchange for cash totalling ₹4.81 crore.

These entries were made by Kolkata-based entry operators through shell companies allegedly beneficially owned and controlled by Mr. Jain, the ED had claimed, adding that it had recorded statements of people who had made these entries.

The ED's case is based on CBI’s disproportionate assets case against Mr. Jain, according to which the Delhi Minister had acquired assets disproportionate to his known sources of income between 2015-2017 while holding public office.

Mr. Jain's counsel has argued that he had resigned from these four companies before assuming public office and that he could not be held responsible for the activities of these companies. However, ASG Raju alleged on Tuesday that Mr. Jain’s resignation from these companies was a “sham” to create a front for his alleged laundering activities.

Mr. Hariharan also said that Mr. Jain was suffering from a “fatal” condition — sleep apnoea, which too was a consequence of his “severe” COVID-19 infection. He added that a machine was required to constantly monitor Mr. Jain’s health which needed uninterrupted power that may not be available inside the jail.

The court has reserved the order on the bail application for June 18.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2022 12:22:45 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/jain-claims-memory-loss-when-confronted-with-evidence-ed/article65528066.ece