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Delhi HC reserves order on Satyendar Jain's bail plea in PMLA case
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has reserved the order on jailed former AAP minister Satyendar Jain and two others in a money laundering case after multiple hearings in the matter.
The bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma on Tuesday (March 21) kept the order reserved after the conclusion of the submissions made by both sides. While arguing Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appeared for Enforcement Directorate contented that money laundering is crystal clear against Jain and other co-accused.
In their bail plea, Jain stated that he appeared before ED on 7 occasions. He has cooperated and participated in the investigation. He was arrested in 2022 related to a 5 year-old case.
On November 17, 2022, the trial court dismissed the bail petition of Satyendar Jain. Jain was arrested on May 30, 2022, under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act by the Enforcement Directorate and is presently in Judicial Custody in the case.
In his bail in Delhi High Court, Jain stated that the trial court Judge and ED has gravely misread and misapplied the PMLA by identifying proceeds of crime solely on the basis of accommodations entries. That accommodation entries cannot itself lead to a punishable offence under PMLA.
The Rouse Avenue Court while dismissing the bail petition said that the accused Satyendar Kumar Jain had knowingly done such activity to obliterate the tracing of the source of ill-gotten money and accordingly, the proceeds of crime were layered through Kolkata-based entry operators in a way that its source was difficult to decipher.
Hence, applicant/accused Satyendar Kumar Jain has prima facie indulged in the offence of money laundering of more than Rs.1 crore. Further, the offence of money laundering is a serious economic offence and the view of the Supreme Court of India with regard to economic offences is that they constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail, said the Court.
Hence, the accused Satyendar Kumar Jain is not entitled to the benefit of bail having
regard to the twin conditions provided in Section 45 of the PMLA. Application of accused Satyendar Kumar Jain is dismissed, said the Trial Court Judge Vikas Dhull.
The enforcement agency has alleged that the companies which were "beneficially owned and controlled" by Jain had received accommodation entries amounting to Rs 4.81 crore from the shell companies against cash transferred to Kolkata-based entry operators through a hawala route.
The ED case is based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) complaint registered on the allegation that Satyendar Jain had acquired movable properties in the name of various persons from February 14, 2015, to May 31, 2017, which he could not satisfactorily account for. (ANI)