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No allegation of tampering, cooperated with ED probe: Satyendar Jain to HC

No allegation of tampering, cooperated with ED probe: Satyendar Jain to HC

Jailed AAP minister Satyendar Jain, who is seeking bail in a money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Thursday submitted before the Delhi High Court that he has fully cooperated in the investigation and there is no allegation of any attempt made by him to tamper with evidence.

Jain`s counsel said he was summoned by the ED several times and has appeared before the agency, and never tried to influence witnesses.

“Five years after registration of ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) and having joined the investigation on a number of occasions, Jain was arrested on May 30, 2022,” his counsel told Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma.

Seeking bail in the money laundering case, the counsel said, “There is no allegation that during this period, I (Jain) tried to tamper with the evidence or did not cooperate or tried to influence witnesses.”

The lawyer contended there are no “proceeds of crime” in the case which only has a “notional basis”. After hearing part arguments, the high court listed the matter for further proceedings on January 17.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representing the ED, informed the court the agency has also filed an affidavit in the matter. Jain`s counsel said he will file a reply to it.

Jain has sought bail in the ED`s case registered on September 30, 2017 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and said in his plea that he is neither in a position to influence the witnesses nor tamper with evidence nor a flight risk.

Also read: Tihar top officials accuse jailed minister Satyendar Jain of intimidation, lodge complaint

Further, as the chargesheet has already been filed, there is no requirement to prolong his incarceration in the present case, he has asserted.
The AAP leader has challenged the trial court`s November 17 order by which his bail plea was dismissed on the ground that he was prima facie involved in concealing the proceeds of crime.

In his plea, Jain has claimed that since he was not in possession of any proceeds, the offence under the PMLA was not made out.

The petition has claimed the special judge and the ED gravely misread and misapplied the PMLA by identifying proceeds of crime solely on the basis of accommodation entries which cannot by itself constitute a punishable offence under the Act.

Proceeds of crime under the PMLA have to be derived as a result of a scheduled criminal activity, it has said.
Jain, who was arrested by the ED on May 30, is currently in judicial custody. He was granted regular bail by a trial court on September 6, 2019 in the case lodged by the CBI.

Besides him, the trial court had also denied bail to two co-accused — Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain ¿ claiming they “knowingly” assisted Jain in concealing the proceeds of crime and were prima facie guilty of money laundering.

They have also challenged the trial court`s order before the high court which has listed the pleas for hearing on January 17.

The trial court had said “prima facie” Jain was “actually involved in concealing the proceeds of crime by giving cash to the Kolkata-based entry operators and thereafter bringing the cash into three companies against the sale of shares to show that the income of these three companies was untainted.

“By this process, the proceeds of crime to the tune of 1/3rd of Rs 4.61 crore has been laundered. Apart from that, Jain has also used the same modus operandi to convert his proceeds of crime of Rs 15 lakh by receiving accommodation entries from Kolkata-based entry operators in his company by the name of J J Ideal Estate Pvt Ltd,” it had noted.

The ED had arrested the accused in the money laundering case based on a CBI FIR lodged against Jain in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Jain is accused of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him.

Earlier this year, the trial court also took cognisance of the prosecution complaint (charge sheet) filed by the ED against Jain, his wife and eight others, including the four firms, in connection with the money laundering case.

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