The Supreme Court of India has granted interim medical bail to Satyendar Jain, the former Health Minister of Delhi, in a money laundering case. A vacation bench comprising Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha allowed Jain to seek bail for a period of six weeks, enabling him to receive medical treatment at a private hospital of his choice.
However, the court has imposed certain conditions, including directives to refrain from influencing witnesses, leaving the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) without court permission, and abstaining from making any statements in the press or media regarding any issues. The court’s order will remain in effect until July 11.
Satyendar Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The former leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stands accused of money laundering through four companies allegedly linked to him.
He has been in custody since May of the previous year when ED attached properties worth Rs 4.81 crore (approximately $647,000). The funds in question are believed to belong to the five companies under investigation.
Satyendar Jain had appealed against the Delhi High Court’s decision on April 6, which denied him bail and upheld the trial court’s rejection of his previous bail pleas on November 17, 2022. The High Court, taking note of Jain’s influential position and the potential for tampering with evidence based on his conduct during custody, ruled that substantial probable cause was necessary to grant bail. Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma stated, “In order to grant bail, there has to be substantial probable cause for first believing that the accused is not guilty of the offense.”
Referring to testimonies, the bench noted, “Jain is the conceptualizer, visualizer, and executor of the entire operation, and he was aided and abetted by Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain.”
The court further rejected Jain’s argument that he was not found in physical possession of any properties, clarifying that physical possession is not a requirement for the offense of money laundering. Additionally, the transfer of acquired shares back to Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain was deemed irrelevant as it could be an attempt to conceal the proceeds of crime. The bench emphasized that the companies involved were under the control and management of Satyendar Jain, and the fluctuating patterns of shareholding indicated his indirect control over the company affairs.