The court said Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Satyendar Jain’s is an influential person who could potentially tamper with the evidence
The Delhi high court on Thursday rejected Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Satyendar Jain’s bail plea in a 2017 money laundering case, saying he is an influential person and could potentially tamper with the evidence.
It cited broad probabilities and added they indicate Jain and his family directly or indirectly controlled and managed the companies at the centre of the case. The court also rejected the bail pleas of two co-accused Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain.
“…taking the totality of facts into account, the petitioners at this stage cannot be said to have cleared the twin conditions for PMLA [Prevention of Money Laundering Act] or tripod test for the grant of bail. I find no perversity with the order of the trial court [denying bail],” said Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Satyendar Jain in May last year for allegedly laundering money through four companies.
The AAP leader challenged the trial court’s November order denying him bail on the grounds that he was prima facie involved in concealing proceeds of crime.
The trial court denied bail to Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain, saying they knowingly assisted Satyendar Jain in concealing proceeds of crime and were prima facie guilty of money laundering.
In August 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed the case in the matter under the Prevention of Corruption Act. A year later, a charge sheet against Satyendar Jain, his wife, and four associates including Ankush Jain and Vaibhav Jain over disproportionate assets was filed.
The ED later provisionally attached immovable properties worth ₹4.81 crore belonging to Akinchan Developers Private Limited, Indo Metal Impex Private Limited, Paryas Infosolutions Private Limited, Manglayatan Projects Private Limited, and JJ Ideal Estate Private Limited.
The ED’s case against the co-accused is based on the examination of Jagdish Prasad Mohata, the chartered accountant of the companies. Mohata claimed Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain were appointed directors of the companies by backdating the documents.
In his bail plea, Satyendar Jain submitted there was no case against him, and he fully cooperated in the investigation. He argued there was no requirement to continue his incarceration after the filing of the charge sheet. The AAP leader maintained he is not in a position to influence witnesses, tamper with evidence, or be a flight risk.
The ED opposed the plea saying the AAP leader’s claim that there were no proceeds of crime can be demolished by the material on record. It said it shows he was in the thick of things.
The agency said Satyendar Jain’s release would obstruct the further investigation. It cited special services provided to him at Tihar jail when he was in judicial custody to show that he is an influential person, who may influence witnesses and frustrate the proceedings.
Satyendar Jain was granted regular bail in September 2019 in connection with the CBI case.