Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Delhi HC reserves order on Satyendar Jain’s bail plea in PMLA case

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After repeated sessions, the Delhi High Court has reserved its decision on jailed former AAP minister Satyendar Jain and two others in a money laundering case. On Tuesday (March 21), the bench of Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma reserved the order following the end of both parties’ submissions. While arguing for the Enforcement Directorate, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju stated that money laundering is unequivocally shown against Jain and other co-accused.

Jain alleged in their bail petition that he appeared before the ED seven times. He cooperated and took part in the inquiry. He was arrested in 2022 in connection with a 5-year-old case.

Satyendar 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 provisions 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 offence 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” firms 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 Satyendar 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.

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