The Central Bureau of Investigation court on Tuesday reserved its orders on the bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain who is in custody in connection with a money laundering case, ANI reported.
Jain, a minister without a portfolio in the Arvind Kejriwal government, was arrested on May 30 under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He has been remanded to Enforcement Directorate custody till June 27.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Senior Advocate N Hariharan, appearing for Jain, submitted that there was no possibility of the AAP leader running away, tampering with the evidence or threatening witnesses, ANI reported.
He added that Jain has already appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on seven occasions and his statement has been recorded, so his custody is no longer needed. The lawyer also argued that between 2015 and 2017, Jain had resigned from the firms which have been named in the alleged wrongdoings.
The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that five firms – Akinchan Developers Private Limited, Indo Metal Impex Private Limited, Paryas Infosolutions Private Limited, Manglayatan Projects Private Limited and JJ Ideal Estate Private Limited – are shell companies controlled by Jain and his relatives.
The agency claimed that money routed through the companies was used for buying land or for repaying loans taken for buying agricultural land in and around Delhi.
In April, the Enforcement Directorate had attached immovable property worth Rs 4.81 crore allegedly belonging to companies linked to Jain and his relatives.
On Tuesday, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju opposed Jain’s bail, noting that the AAP leader is influential and could tamper with witnesses during the investigation, ANI reported.
He alleged that the minister has not cooperated in the investigation and has given evasive answers during the interrogation.
“When confronted with documents, he said he doesn’t remember as his memory has been affected post Covid-19,” Raju said, according to ANI.
Special Judge Geetanjli Goel then reserved orders, and will likely pronounce the verdict on June 18.
On May 31, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that the allegations against Jain are false and that the case was politically motivated. On June 2, the Delhi chief minister had claimed that his deputy Manish Sisodia will soon be the next minister to be arrested after Jain.
On June 7, the Enforcement Directorate had said it has seized Rs 2.85 crore in cash and gold weighing 1.8 kilograms a day after conducting searches on the premises of Jain and his aides in Delhi in connection with the money-laundering case.
Sisodia, however, had claimed that only Rs 2.79 lakh was found in Jain’s home. Citing a seizure memo, he tweeted that the amount was not seized as it was found to be legal.