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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed a sessions court here to take up on September 22 an Enforcement Directorate application seeking transfer of bail hearing of Delhi minister Satyendar Jain in a money laundering case to another judge.
Observing that any accused is entitled to an expeditious hearing of his bail plea, a three-judge bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the principal district and sessions judge of the Rouse Avenue court to take up the petition for hearing.
“We clarify that any party aggrieved by the decision on transfer petition can seek appropriate remedies available in law. The forum for hearing of bail will depend upon the decision of the District Judge,” said the bench also comprising Justices Hima Kohli and P S Narasimha.
Principal District and Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Gupta had on September 19 stayed the proceedings of the bail hearing and issued notice to Jain and other co-accused in the case on an ED application seeking transfer of the case to another judge. Special Judge Geetanjali Goel, was described by the news agency PTI as someone who has frequently pulled up the ED over its investigation into the case.
The bail hearings of Satyendar Jain, along with Ankush and Vaibhav Jain, had been nearing their end when the ED filed the application.
Advocate Sushil Kumar Gupta, who represents Ankush and Vaibhav Jain told Indian Express that he was surprised over the fact that the ED sought transfer of the entire trial in this case.
Satyendar Jain’s lawyer, N. Hariharan, had expressed his displeasure earlier, according to Hindustan Times. “It is really unfair. Totally uncalled for. They are pre-empting things. We will oppose it tooth and nail,” said Hariharan.
The ED had arrested Jain and two others in a case based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR lodged against the Aam Aadmi Party leader in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Jain is accused of having laundered money through four companies linked to him. His party, AAP, has maintained his innocence, seeking to highlight the fact that Jain’s arrest comes just before the elections in Himachal Pradesh, which he was overseeing.
(With PTI inputs)