The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking to suspend Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain from the Cabinet, Live Law reported.
Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on May 30 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He is in judicial custody.
A public interest litigation was filed by Dr Nand Kishore Garg, a three-time Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Delhi’s Trinagar constituency. Garg had moved the court through advocates Shashank Deo Sudhi, Dinesh Kumar Dakoria, Sachin Sain and Aman.
Garg’s petition sought to issue guidelines, under Rule 10 of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965, about the resignation or suspension of a minister who has been arrested beyond 48 hours.
Jain was enjoying the perks of being a Cabinet minister despite having been accused of serious charges, which “may entail severe punishment”, the plea added.
Garg’s petition also alleged that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was supporting Jain by giving him a clean chit in a clear violation of his constitutional oath.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad, however, dismissed the petition.
“We know our limitations,” the bench said. “We have to obey the statutes, rules and notifications. We cannot travel beyond that. We are not the lawmakers.”
The bench asked Garg to place his petition before the chief justice of India. The plea will be posted for hearing only after this is done, it said.
The case against Jain
The money-laundering case is based on a first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2017. The central agency has alleged that between February 2015 and May 2017, Jain acquired assets disproportionate to his income.
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 to buy land or repay 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.
Following his arrest, a court had sent Jain to the Enforcement Directorate’s custody till June 9, which was subsequently extended twice till June 27.
On June 27, a CBI court extended his judicial custody till July 11.
Kejriwal has called the allegations against Jain as false. He said the case was politically motivated.