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Delhi HC reserves order on plea against lawyer’s presence during Satyendar Jain’s questioning

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New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved the order on Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea challenging a special court’s direction allowing the presence of a lawyer during the interrogation of arrested Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain.

On May 31, a Special CBI Court Judge Geetanjali Goel sent Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering case, to the agency’s custody till June 9.

However, the CBI court allowed the presence of a lawyer for Jain. “Considering the facts and circumstances, it is directed that during the time of inquiry/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 court said in its order.

Challenging this, the central probe agency submitted that this condition will ‘vitiate’ the custody granted to them. Today, after hearing the submissions, a single bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna, said he will pass an appropriate order.

During the course of the hearing, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appeared for the ED, and argued that the condition was contrary to various Supreme Court and other judgements.

Pointing out that Jain is already arrested, the ED’s counsel said thus he is not entitled to other rights which are available to accused persons. However, Jain’s counsel Senior Advocate A.M. Singhvi opposed ED’s arguments, saying the prosecution knew that the law is 100 percent against them.

The ED had attached the properties of Jain’s relatives worth Rs 4.81 crore in April this year. The ED initiated the money-laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), against Jain and others under Section 109 of IPC — read with sections 13(2) and 13(1) (e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

“Immovable properties worth Rs 4.81 crore belonging to different firms owned by Swati Jain, Sushila Jain, and Indu Jain, the relatives of Jain were attached. Akinchan Developers Pvt Ltd, Indo Metal Impex Pvt Ltd, Paryas Infosolutions Pvt Ltd, Manglayatan Projects Pvt Ltd, JJ Ideal Estate Pvt. Ltd were the firms against which action was taken,” as per ED sources.

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