Delhi HC reserves order on PIL for Satyendar Jain’s disqualification citing ‘unsound mind’

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved the order on a PIL to disqualify Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Satyendar Jain from the Assembly and the cabinet, stating he has become a person of “unsound mind” and has “memory loss”.

Jain is presently in judicial custody in a money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.

After hearing the submissions on the plea, a division bench presided over by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said that they will be passing an appropriate order and reserved the verdict.

“The Delhi Government is clearly violating the Provisions of the Constitution of India under Article 191 (1)(b) which clearly states ‘a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of state if he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court,” said the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) moved by petitioner Ashish Kumar Srivastava through Advocate Rudra Vikram Singh.

Jain, whose bail was denied in various hearings since May 31, is in judicial custody.

The CBI has accused Jain, his wife and others of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. On March 31, the ED provisionally attached immovable properties worth Rs 4.81 crore belonging to companies beneficially owned and controlled by the minister.

On June 6, the ED conducted raids at multiple locations belonging to Jain, his wife and his accomplices, who had either directly or indirectly assisted him or participated in the processes of money laundering. The recovery of Rs 2.85 crore in cash and 133 gold coins weighing 1.80 kg was made during the raid.

Recently, a similar plea seeking suspension of Jain was dismissed by the high court.

It was contended that Jain was arrested over his alleged involvement in hawala transactions in 2015-2016 with a Kolkata-based firm. The arrest is repugnant and inconsistent to the rule of law as he is a public servant having a constitutional oath to uphold the rule of law in the interest of the public, it stated.

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