Jain, in custody at Tihar Jail for over a year over his alleged involvement in money laundering, had collapsed in a bathroom in the jail due to dizziness yesterday. His bail conditions include not travelling out of Delhi without the court’s leave and not giving any press interviews.
ON Friday, the Supreme Court granted six weeks’ interim medical bail to Delhi’s former health minister Satyendar Kumar Jain, to enable him to undergo treatment at a private hospital of his choice. This comes a day after Jain was admitted to Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital after he collapsed in a bathroom at Tihar Jail due to dizziness.
Jain has been languishing at Tihar since May last year after being charged in a money laundering case registered by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).
A division Bench comprising Justices J.K. Maheshwari and P.S. Narasimha passed the order granting bail to Jain while making it clear that Jain would not travel out of Delhi without the leave of the court and should also not give interviews to the press. The Bench brushed aside the vehement objection to the grant of bail to Jain by the ED.
Appearing for the ED, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju demanded that Jain be first examined by an independent medical board of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. However, the Bench turned down the demand for the time being, observing that it would consider the same in July when the matter would be heard again.
Appearing for Jain, senior advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted that Jain had developed muscular atrophy. It was further claimed by Dr Singhvi that Jain has “become a skeleton” and has lost 35 kg. Raju, however, countered this by stating that the reason for the Aam Aadmi Party leader’s weight loss was because he was a member of the Jain community that believes in fasting. Hence, according to Raju, there was no cause for concern.
Raju also questioned the credibility of the medical documents produced by Jain from those hospitals which come under the control of the Delhi government, averring that Jain had been health minister in the government and thus the hospitals were under his jurisdiction. Raju also pointed out that Jain withdrew his medical bail application when a demand for an independent evaluation of his health was made by the ED.
The case against Jain is based on a first information report (FIR) lodged by the CBI in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act in which he was accused of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him.
“Investigation by the ED revealed that during the period 2015-16, when Sh. Satyendar Kumar Jain was a public servant, the above-mentioned companies beneficially owned and controlled by him received accommodation entries to the tune of ₹4.81 crore from shell companies against cash transferred to Kolkata-based entry operators through the hawala route. These amounts were utilised for direct purchase of land or for the repayment of loan taken for purchase of agricultural land in and around Delhi,” the ED had said in a statement after arresting him last year, as then reported by the Indian Express.
On April 6, Jain was denied bail by the Delhi High Court in the money laundering case against him. Denying the bail application, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma of the high court observed that Jain is an influential person and has the potential to tamper with the evidence “as indicated by his conduct during the custody. However, this court has examined the entire facts objectively in accordance with the law without being influenced by the position of the petitioner.”