SC grants AAP leader Satyendar Jain interim bail on medical grounds (Lead)

May 26, 2023

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday granted six weeks interim bailto Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi minister Satyendar Jain on medical grounds.

A bench of Justices J.K. Maheshwari and P.S. Narasimha granted interim bail to Jain to get treated in a private hospital of his choice, adding that the bail will be subject to conditions imposed by the trial court.

The top court turned down the Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea that Jain should be first examined by a panel of doctors in AIIMS.

During the hearing, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Jain, submitted that Jain has lost 33 kgs, and is suffering from muscular atrophy, and he is entitled to private treatment, arguing how such bail applications can be opposed on humanitarian grounds.

Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing the ED, said that condition is an old condition and it is not new. Raju said: “He is a Jain. They fast and he is not taking food in the jail… I am just saying have it independently evaluated (his health condition), if the report says his condition is bad, I will not object … .Jains believe in fasting and they do not consume food, therefore their weight comes down.”

However, the bench said: “We are considering (interim bail) on medical grounds… this order is confined to grant of bail on medical grounds…”.

Raju said he is in hospital already and not in jail, and an independent evaluation of his health will not hamper anything and “let him be in Pant Hospital and let the AIIMS report come and this order can be deferred for four days”. He stressed that G.B. Pant Hospital is a Delhi government hospital.

Considering the medical report of G B Pant Hospital, the bench said it is granting 6 weeks interim bail to the petitioner to take the treatment in a private hospital of his choice. “Applicant be released on interim bail on medical grounds on the subject of conditions imposed by trial court. The petitioner shall not influence and meet with any of the witnesses, scheduled in the witness list. He shall not leave the region of Delhi NCT without the leave of the court.”

The bench said all the papers related to the treatment should be produced before the apex court and this order will remain in operation till July 11 and listed the matter for further hearing on July 10.

Raju said that Jain should not hold any press conference while he is on interim bail and stressed, “private hospitals report you know how it is, let him be evaluated by AIIMS”.

The top court said Jain will not make any statement to the press on any issue and told Raju that after preliminary reports, the independent evaluation would take place.

On May 18, Singhvi had submitted before the apex court that his client has extreme health problems, he has lost over 30 kgs and is a skeleton now.

In April this year, the Delhi High Court had dismissed bail pleas of Jain and his two aides in a money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said that Jain is an influential person and cannot be said to have satisfied the twin conditions for bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

“The simple fact is the CBI has filed a case of disproportionate assets (DA). The present court cannot go into the validity of these proceedings. Facts show that certain DA were masked. The court has to see the prima facie case. The broad probabilities indicate that the companies associated with him are controlled and managed by him. Learned special judge order (rejecting bail to Jain) does not have any perversity. Order is well reasoned,” the judge said.

Jain has been in custody since May 30 last year. A trial court had on November 17, 2022, dismissed his bail application.



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