In a setback for Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, a court on Saturday dismissed the bail plea of the AAP leader who was arrested last month by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.
Special Judge Geetanjli Goel denied the relief to Mr Jain, saying that in the absence of medical documents showing his medical condition, the accused cannot be enlarged on bail only on the ground that he suffers from sleep apnea.
The court also said that if granted bail, there was a possibility that Mr Jain could tamper with evidence as he occupied an influential position.
“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the nature of allegations against the accused and that the application for bail does not pass muster even on the triple test (accused is not a flight risk, will not influence witnesses and will not tamper with the evidence) for grant of bail at this stage, the application is dismissed being without merits,” the judge said.
The court rejected the submission of Jain’s advocate that the accused was suffering from sleep apnea that was “quite grave”.
Mr Jain’s lawyer had claimed that it could even cause sudden death of a patient if the machine was cut off in the absence of an attendant, in case the patient removed the machine or there was a power failure as it needed power back-up which was not there in the jail.
He had also submitted that the accused had suffered severe pneumonia during COVID-19 and had just managed to survive.
But the court noted that no specific ground was taken in the bail application regarding the medical condition of the accused.
“No medical documents had been produced to show Jain’s medical history, or to show the extent of the medical condition of the accused (except the medical examination papers which were produced by ED at the time of remand), only on the ground that the accused suffers from sleep apnea, he cannot be enlarged on bail,” the judge said.
He said that the matter was still at the stage of investigation and as the accused enjoyed an influential position, it could not be ruled out that he could influence the witnesses.
“The matter is still stated to be at the stage of investigation and it was stated that additional documents recovered during the search operations were yet to be examined and analysed and even the complaint is yet to be filed, so the possibility of tampering with evidence cannot be ruled out,” the judge said.
During the arguments, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju, representing ED, had told the court that the accused laundered or converted cash by way of accommodation entries to project it as legitimate or untainted property and that he had played a key role in getting the accommodation entries and was instrumental in the decisions taken by the companies.
The ED had also submitted that the accused was thickly connected with the companies that were controlled by his family members and persons close to him.
The ED’s Special Public Prosecutor N K Matta further told the court that the accused had not co-operated during the investigation and that he was not straightforward in his replies, and in such circumstances, the discretionary order of bail could not be allowed to him.
Senior advocate N Hariharan contended on behalf of the accused that Mr Jain was “totally innocent” and he was a victim of a witch-hunt, which led to his arrest by ED on account of ulterior motives.
The ED had arrested Mr Jain under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on May 30 and he is currently in judicial custody.