ED challenges trial court order allowing Satyendar Jain to hire a lawyer during questioning

Satyendar Jain

NEW DELHI:  The Delhi High Court will hear Enforcement Directorate’s petition against the trial court’s direction permitting a lawyer to remain present, at a distance, during the interrogation of AAP minister Satyendar Kumar Jain, who was remanded to the central agency’s custody on May 31 till June 9 in a case of money laundering.

The ED made a mention before the division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi for urgent listing of the case. The court said the ED petition be listed on Friday.

Advocate Zoheb Hossain, representing the ED, submitted that the trial court has laid down certain conditions while granting the remand, including the presence of a lawyer. “We are seeking to assail it, otherwise our remand period would be rendered infructuous,” said Hossain.

Allowing a prayer made by Jain’s counsel on Tuesday, the Special Judge of Rouse Avenue Court in the remand order said, “it is directed that during the time of enquiry/interrogation from the accused, one advocate of the accused shall be allowed to remain present at a safe distance where from he can see the accused but not hear him”. The prayer had been “vehemently” opposed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the ED before the trial court.

The ED had arrested Jain on May 30 in an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered by it on the basis of a case registered by CBI, in August 2017, under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He is accused of having laundered money through five companies allegedly linked to him. ED’s case is that Jain allegedly acquired assets from 2015 to 2017, which were “disproportionate to his known sources of income”. Satyendar Jain counsel argued that his role in the companies was in a consultative capacity and he was given shares in the companies for his services.

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