New Delhi: Satyendar Jain, the former Delhi Minister, was granted interim bail on Friday by the Supreme Court. His bail plea has been accepted on medical grounds until July 11.
Jain was admitted to Delhi’s Lok Nayak Hospital after he fell in a bathroom in Tihar Jail. He was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) where he was on oxygen support.
During the court proceedings, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposed the bail plea of Jain and argued that the medical report of Lok Nayak Hospital cannot be trusted.
The additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju, claimed that Jain was the former Health Minister of Delhi and LNH comes under the Delhi government. Therefore, the medical reports can be fudged. He suggested that Jain needs to be evaluated by a team of medical professionals from AIIMS or another hospital that is not governed by the Delhi government.
Raju said that Jain’s statement should not be taken with a pinch of salt but with a high quantity of salt. He raised questions about why his bail should be granted if the report is fudged. If he is unwell then he should not be afraid of a medical test at AIIMS.
The ASG further pointed out that on May 13, Jain was doing fine under ED’S custody. He complained of issues regarding his health from the next day, giving rise to suspicion.
Appearing for Jain, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi said that his client needs immediate medical attention. He added that because Lok Nayak Hospital is Tihar Jail’s required referral facility, the medical records cannot be falsified.
Singhvi said that Jain’s bail plea is on humanitarian grounds, he is not running away and will return to jail after receiving proper medical attention. He further questioned the ED whether their opposition to the bail application was justified which is filed on humanitarian grounds.
Citing the weight loss of Satyendar Jain, Singhvi said that he is on a surgery list for vertebrae and has lost 33 kgs. To this, the ASG replied that he lost weight because he is not eating and maintaining fast. He said that Jains are known for being religious and maintaining fast.
Responding to ASG Raju’s request to conduct Jain’s medical examination at AIIMS, the Supreme Court bench said that an independent evaluation can be done after going through the reports that he will submit at the next hearing.
The Justice benches of JK Maheswari and PS Narasimha made it clear that Jain is being granted bail on medical grounds, and his health reports would be examined again on July 10 for further orders.
Satyendar Jain was arrested on May 30 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). During his arrest, Jain was holding important ministries in the Kejriwal Cabinet including Health and Urban development.
The money laundering case against Jain goes back to August 2017 when an FIR was filed against him by the CBI on charges of alleged possession of disproportionate assets. Following an investigation, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took action by seizing assets valued at ₹4.81 crore.
Mr. Jain has taken his case to the Supreme Court after facing setbacks in lower courts. Following a trial court’s decision in November and subsequent rejection by the Delhi High Court on April 6.
Both courts highlighted his influential status and the compelling evidence presented, which rendered the conditions for bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) unmet in this particular case. These conditions include proving innocence and demonstrating that the accused is unlikely to commit further offenses while on bail.
Jain has recently revealed that he is confronting severe health challenges, including depression, a lung issue arising from his previous battle with Covid-19, acute lower back pain accompanied by vertigo, intervertebral disc degeneration, and sleep apnea.
As the legal battle continues, the Supreme Court will now examine the matter and make a pivotal determination in this high-profile case.
Meanwhile, the chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday prayed for his colleague’s good health and tweeted that God is watching all and he will do justice to all.