The Delhi High Court on Saturday stayed the special court’s direction allowing the presence of a lawyer during the interrogation of arrested Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A single bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna had reserved the order on Friday.
The judge on Saturday held that Jain cannot claim to have the presence of his counsels during the course of recording his statement since there is neither an FIR nor a complaint against him.
The judge was pointing out that Jain could not get the right of an accused due to this.
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. On Friday, after hearing the submissions, the high court had reserved its verdict in the matter.
During the course of the hearing, Additional Solicitor General S.V. 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 per cent 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.