A court in Delhi Tuesday reserved its order on AAP minister Satyendar Jain’s bail plea in the money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate. The court will pronounce the order on June 18.
The ED had arrested Satyendar Jain on May 30 in an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered by it on the basis of a case lodged by the CBI in August 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Jain is accused of having laundered money through at least four companies allegedly linked to him. The ED has said that Jain acquired assets from 2015 to 2017, which were “disproportionate to his known sources of income”. He is currently in judicial custody.
Special Judge Gitanjali Goel on Tuesday heard arguments in the bail plea. While the ED was represented by Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, senior advocate N Hariharan represented Satyendar Jain.
Seeking bail for Jain, Hariharan argued that the Aam Aadmi Party leader meets the triple test for bail as he is not a flight risk and also the evidence is mostly documental in nature and cannot be tampered with. Satyendar Jain’s counsel also submitted that witnesses have not raised any allegation of threat against him. Apprising the court that Jain has sleep apnea, his counsel also sought bail on medical grounds.
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Opposing the bail, Raju argued that the investigation is still ongoing in the case and if he is granted bail, it will hinder the probe.
In 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case against Satyendar Jain and others on the allegations that the companies—Paryas Infosolution, Indo Metalimpex, Akinchan Developers and Mangalayatan Projects—linked to him and his family members allegedly laundered money to the tune of Rs 11.78 crore during 2010-2012 and Rs 4.63 crores during 2015-16, when he had become a minister in the Delhi government.
According to the CBI, Satyendar Jain through his associates gave money in cash to some Kolkata-based entry operators of different shell companies for accommodation entries. These entry operators allegedly then re-routed the money in the form of investment through shares in Jain-linked companies after “layering them through shell companies”. The CBI alleged that Jain had “active control” over the companies or held 1/3rd of shares of these companies in his name or in the name of his family members or friends.
The ED case is based on the CBI one and was registered soon after the CBI booked Jain and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The ED has recorded statements of the Kolkata-based shell company operators allegedly stating that they had met in the office of a CA with Satyendar Jain regarding providing accommodation entries in his companies.