New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed a sessions court to consider on Thursday a plea by Enforcement Directorate seeking transfer of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain’s bail hearing, in a money laundering case, to another judge.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Jain, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and sought an urgent hearing.
The bench, also comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and Hima Kohli, noted that any accused is entitled to expeditious hearing of bail plea and asked the Principal District and Sessions Judge of the Rouse Avenue court to consider the application for hearing on September 22.
Sibal contended that seven hearings took place and Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju was asked to come on September 15, but he moved an application to transfer the case. Raju submitted that if the petitioner is aggrieved, then he can move the high court.
The bench said: “We clarify that any party aggrieved by the decision on transfer petition can seek appropriate remedies available in law.” It clarified that the District Judge will decide the forum for hearing on the bail plea.
On September 19, Principal District and Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Gupta stayed the proceedings of the bail hearing before special judge Geetanjali Goel and issued notice to Jain and other co-accused in the case. The judge sought replies from the respondents in the case – on an application by the ED seeking transfer of the case to another judge — by September 30.
Jain, whose bail has been denied in various hearings since his arrest in the PMLA case on May 30, is presently lodged in Tihar jail. As per the earlier submissions of the ED, Jain was in de-facto control of shell companies used for alleged money laundering, and the co-accused persons Ankush Jain and Vaibhav Jain were just dummies. The ED had raised certain contentions in connection with the bail arguments being heard by the special judge.