Delhi HC dismisses jailed minister Satyender Jain, two others’ bail plea in PMLA case

6 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Delhi National

Satyender Jain/applicant cannot be held responsible for failing to meet the two requirements of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act at this time.

The bail pleas of Delhi’s imprisoned Minister Satyender Jain and two others in a money laundering case were denied by the Delhi High Court. Satyender Jain, Ankush Jain, and Vaibhav Jain’s bail application were denied by a panel of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma. When dismissing Satyendar Jain’s bail application, the bench observed that the petitioner is influential and had the capacity to tamper with evidence.

Satyender Jain/applicant cannot be held responsible for failing to meet the two requirements of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act at this time (PMLA). The same bench had reserved the order on March 21 following the conclusion of the submissions made by the defense and prosecution sides following repeated hearings.

During the arguments, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, who represented the Enforcement Directorate, stated that money laundering is unequivocally shown against Jain and the other co-accused.

In his bail plea, Jain stated, “I appeared before ED on 7 occasions. I have cooperated and participated in the investigation. I was arrested 5 years down the line in 2022.”

Satyender Jain’s bail motion was denied by the trial court on November 17, 2022. Jain was arrested on May 30, 2022, by the Enforcement Directorate under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and is currently in Judicial Custody in the case.

Jain said in his bail application at the Delhi High Court that the trial court Judge and the ED had badly misunderstood and misapplied the PMLA by determining profits of crime merely on the basis of accommodations entries. That accommodation entries are not a chargeable offense under the PMLA.

While dismissing the bail petition, the Rouse Avenue Court stated that the accused Satyendar Kumar Jain had knowingly engaged in such activity in order to obliterate the tracing of the source of ill-gotten money, and as a result, the proceeds of crime were layered through Kolkata-based entry operators in such a way that its source was difficult to decipher.

As a result, applicant/accused Satyendar Kumar Jain appears to have committed the crime of money laundering in excess of Rs.1 crore. Furthermore, money laundering is a significant economic offence, and the Supreme Court of India believes that economic offences are a separate class that requires a distinct approach in terms of bail, according to the Court.

As a result of the dual criteria outlined in Section 45 of the PMLA, the accused Satyendar Kumar Jain is not eligible for bail. Trial Court Judge Vikas Dhull denied the application of accused Satyendar Kumar Jain.

The enforcement agency claims that Jain’s “beneficially owned and controlled” companies got accommodation entries totaling Rs 4.81 crore from the shell companies in exchange for funds supplied to Kolkata-based entry operators via a hawala method.

The ED case is based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) complaint alleging that Satyender Jain acquired moveable properties in the names of numerous people between February 14, 2015, and May 31, 2017, for which he could not account adequately.