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Irregularities Worth Rs 4.81 Cr, 5 Shell Firms: Here's Why ED Held Satyendar Jain & What's Next for Him

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: May 31, 2022, 13:40 IST

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain arrives for a special session of the 17th Legislative Assembly of Delhi, at Delhi Vidhan Sabha, in New Delhi. (PTI)

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain arrives for a special session of the 17th Legislative Assembly of Delhi, at Delhi Vidhan Sabha, in New Delhi. (PTI)

The probe agency alleged that a money laundering over Rs 4 crore was done through five companies, which were associated with Satyendar Jain

Delhi minister Satyendar Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case, with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) calling it a political move ahead of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls. He was taken into custody under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after a few hours of questioning, ED officials said.

They alleged he was “evasive” in his replies. The minister is expected to be produced before a designated court on Tuesday. The arrest has been made by the federal agency in connection with alleged hawala dealings.

AAP leaders including Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and others have criticised the move and called it a “fake case”. Reacting sharply to the arrest, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the arrest is completely fraud and added that his government do not tolerate corruption.

“I have personally studied this (Satyendar Jain’s arrest by ED) case, it is completely fraud. We neither tolerate corruption nor we do corruption. We have a very honest govt. He has been targeted because of political reasons. We have faith in our judiciary,” Kejriwal said.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said Jain has been arrested in an eight-year-old “fake” case as he is the AAP’s incharge for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections and the BJP is afraid of losing the polls.

All about Satyendar Jain

57-year-old Satyendar Jain is the minister for health, industries, power, home, urban development and water in the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi.

He was also AAP’s in-charge for the Himachal Pradesh polls, which is slated for polls later this year. The AAP is looking to make inroads into the state after its stupendous victory in Punjab earlier this year.

An architect by profession, Jain worked in Central Public Works Department before coming in politics. His came in touch with Kejriwal and the AAP during the Anna Andolan. He was also the brain behind Mohalla clinic, which was a flagship programme of the AAP government in Delhi.

Why is Jain arrested?

The ED had said last month that assets worth Rs 4.81 crore of Jain’s family and companies “beneficially owned and controlled” by him were provisionally attached as part of a money laundering probe against him.

The probe agency alleged that a money laundering over Rs 4 crore was done through 5 companies, which were associated with Jain.

In a statement issued then, the ED had said it issued a provisional order under the PMLA to “attach immovable properties worth Rs 4.81 crore belonging to Akinchan Developers Pvt. Ltd.; Indo Metal Impex Pvt Ltd; Paryas Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd.; Manglayatan Projects Pvt. Ltd.; J.J. Ideal Estate Pvt. Ltd.; Swati Jain, wife of Vaibhav Jain; Sushila Jain, wife of Ajit Prasad Jain; and Indu Jain, wife of Sunil Jain.”

The probe found that “during the period 2015-16, when Satyendar Kumar Jain was a public servant, the companies beneficially owned and controlled by him received accommodation entries to the tune of Rs 4.81 crore from shell (paper) companies against cash transferred to Kolkata-based entry operators through the hawala route.”

The amount was used for direct purchase of land or for repayment of loan taken for the purchase of agricultural land in and around Delhi in places like Auchandi, Bawana, Karala and Mohammad Majwi during 2010 to 2016, the probe agency alleged.

The persons named in the attachment order are associates and family members of Jain, the officials said. The money laundering case against the Delhi minister stems from an August 2017 FIR filed by the CBI against him and others on charges of alleged possession of disproportionate assets (DA).

A charge sheet was filed by the CBI in December 2018 stating that the alleged DA was to the tune of Rs 1.47 crore, about 217 per cent more than his known sources of income, during 2015-17. The Income Tax Department had also probed these transactions and issued an order attaching “benami assets” allegedly linked to Jain.

What is AAP saying?

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal said in February that he had learnt from sources that the ED was going to arrest Jain just before the Punjab Assembly elections and accused the Centre of targeting the AAP after realising the BJP “would lose” the polls.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia linked the arrest to the polls in Himachal since Jain is the in-charge of party in the state.

“A fake case has been going on against Satyendar Jain for eight years. He has been called by the ED several times so far. The ED had stopped calling him for some time because it did not find anything against him. Now, it has again started calling him because he is the (AAP) in-charge of the Himachal Pradesh polls,” Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi.

“The BJP is afraid of losing the election and hence, he was arrested to prevent him from going to Himachal. He will be released soon as he has been arrested in a fake case,” the Delhi deputy chief minister added.

Later, at a press conference here, senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh said Jain was earlier summoned by the ED seven times but was never arrested. He has been arrested now to “defame” the AAP ahead of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, Singh alleged.

What Next?

The ED will now have to produce Satyendar Jain before the special court within 24 hours. The probe agency will also have to show reasons for Jain’s arrest before the court and whether custodial interrogation is required.

Jain’s legal team can oppose custodial interrogation and also move a bail plea when he is produced before the court. They can also question the process of investigation and arrest, a report in India Today said.

Legal experts say that the ED will have to justify the Delhi minister’s arrest, as he was arrested when he was summoned for questioning.

(With inputs from PTI)

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first published:May 31, 2022, 12:20 IST
last updated:May 31, 2022, 13:40 IST