The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Delhi's jailed Minister Satyendar Jain, in a money laundering case.
"I have appeared before the ED on seven occasions. I have cooperated and participated in the investigation. I was arrested five years down the line in 2022," submitted Sr Advocate N Hariharan while appearing for Mr Jain.
After noting down the submissions, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma on Thursday sought a response from the ED within two weeks and fixed the matter for December 20, 2022.
On November 17, the trial court had dismissed the bail petition of Satyendar Jain. He was arrested on May 30 under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act by the Enforcement Directorate and is presently in judicial custody in the case.
In his bail plea in Delhi High Court, Mr Jain stated that the trial court judge and ED have gravely misread and misapplied the PMLA by identifying proceeds of crime solely on the basis of accommodation entries. That accommodation entries cannot itself lead to a punishable offence under PMLA.
The Rouse Avenue Court recently, while dismissing the bail petition, said that Mr Jain had knowingly carried out such activities to obliterate the tracing of the source of ill-gotten money and accordingly, the proceeds of crime were layered through Kolkata-based entry operators in a way that its source was difficult to decipher.
Hence, Mr Jain has prima facie indulged in the offence of money laundering of more than Rs 1 crore. Further, money laundering is a serious economic offence and the view of the Supreme Court with regard to economic offences is that they constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail, said the court.
Hence, Mr Jain is not entitled to the benefit of bail with regard to the twin conditions provided in Section 45 of the PMLA. The application of Mr Jain is dismissed, said trial court Judge Vikas Dhull.
The agency has alleged that the companies which were "beneficially owned and controlled" by Mr Jain had received accommodation entries amounting to Rs 4.81 crore from the shell companies against cash transferred to Kolkata-based entry operators through a hawala route.
The ED case is based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) complaint registered on the allegation that Mr Jain had acquired movable properties in the name of various persons from February 14, 2015, to May 31, 2017, which he could not satisfactorily account for.
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