Delhi HC asks ED to respond on Satyendar Jain’s plea challenging transfer of case to new judge
On Friday, a Delhi court transferred a money laundering case against the AAP leader from Special Judge Gitanjali Goel to Special Judge Vikas Dhull.
The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Enforcement Directorate to present its stand on a petition by Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain challenging the transfer of his money laundering case to a new judge, The Indian Express reported.
On Friday, a Delhi court had transferred the case from Special Judge Gitanjali Goel to Special Judge Vikas Dhull on a request from the Enforcement Directorate.
Senior Advocate N Hariharan, appearing for Jain, told the High Court on Monday that the hearing of a bail petition filed by the Delhi minister had been going on for the past month before the trial court. He also noted that the Supreme Court has directed the trial court to complete the bail hearing within 14 days.
Hariharan said that the lower court order had noted that the judge from whom the matter was being transferred was upright and honest, and asked why a question of bias would then arise.
Justice Yogesh Khanna of the High Court asked the Enforcement Directorate to file its reply, and listed the case on September 28.
Jain, a minister without a portfolio in the Delhi government, was arrested by theEnforcement Directorate on May 30. The agency’s case is based on a first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2017 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He is accused of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him.
Special Judge Gitanjali Goel had earlier asked why the Enforcement Directorate went beyond the Central Bureau of Investigation case to look into alleged proceeds of crime that are not mentioned in the chargesheet. She had also sought to know what exactly the crime in the case was, observing that the companies allegedly cheated by Jain had also named as accused entities.
However, the Enforcement Directorate said that Goel did not consider the influence of Jain – who was previously the health minister of Delhi – on hospitals and doctors while hearing his bail on medical grounds.