Supreme Court rejects bail to ex-Delhi minister Satyendar Jain in money laundering case

Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal from the bench directed Jain to promptly surrender to prison authorities.

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The Supreme Court delivered a significant ruling on Monday by rejecting the bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Satyendar Jain in a high-profile money laundering case, identified as Satyendar Kumar Jain v Directorate of Enforcement. 

The bench comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal directed Jain to surrender to jail authorities immediately, despite his current release on medical bail.

Jain, a former Delhi Health Minister, faced the money laundering charges following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in May 2022. After spending a year in jail, he obtained interim bail on medical grounds, a relief that has now been overturned by the Supreme Court's latest verdict on his bail plea.

The legal saga surrounding Jain's case began with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registering a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The charges included criminal misconduct by a public servant and the possession of disproportionate assets between 2015 and 2017, allegedly acquired under suspicious circumstances.

Subsequently, the ED joined the investigation, alleging that companies linked to Jain received sizable amounts through illicit means, totaling ₹4.81 crore, routed through shell companies and entry operators based in Kolkata. This raised concerns of money laundering and financial impropriety, leading to Jain's arrest and subsequent legal battles for bail.

Despite efforts to secure bail in lower courts, including a rejected plea in November 2022 by a trial court and a subsequent denial by the Delhi High Court in April 2023, Jain's legal challenges persist. The Delhi High Court's stance emphasized Jain's influence and questioned whether he met the necessary conditions for bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Supreme Court's dismissal of Jain's bail plea underscores the judiciary's commitment to addressing cases of alleged financial misconduct and ensuring accountability among public officials.