New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday approached the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court's order allowing presence of a lawyer during the interrogation of Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain, arrested in a money laundering case.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta allowed the request of the ED's counsel for an urgent listing of its plea and fixed the matter for hearing on Friday.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was arrested on May 30 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the trial court on May 31, remanded him to ED's custody till June 9.
While remanding Jain to ED's custody, the trial court had allowed his plea that during the time of enquiry/ investigation of 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.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, had vehemently opposed this in the trial court.
The ED has challenged the condition before the high court and submitted that the agency had filed a petition in this regard and urgent listing be allowed.
The trial court had remanded Jain to ED's custody till June 9, saying that his interrogation was required to unearth the alleged larger conspiracy.
The Solicitor General had argued before the trial court that there was a chequered layer of money and the agency was trying to find out if the accused was laundering somebody else's money and whether there were other potential beneficiaries.
"The money has not stopped at Rs 4.81 crore. It is beyond. Some facts we don't have, but the accused is aware," the law office had said, adding that the likelihood of tampering with evidence could not be ruled out till the agency ascertained the real trail.
So far, Jain has been evasive in his replies to the agency, he had alleged.
The ED had said the custody was required to find out where eventually the money came from.
"This is not a one-time offence. This is of a recurring nature which may still be going on. He (Jain) may be able to throw light during custodial interrogation," it had said.
Jain's counsel had opposed the ED application, saying the case dated back to 2015 and that the entire allegation was the reproduction of the charge sheet, and that the accused had already been summoned five-six times for interrogation by the agency.
He had said there was no requirement for custodial interrogation in the case.
The agency had earlier provisionally attached assets worth Rs 4.81 crore of Jain's family and companies "beneficially owned and controlled" by him as part of a money laundering probe against him.