Cannot Declare Him Of Unsound Mind - Delhi HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Disqualification Of AAP's Satyendra Jain
While dismissing the petition seeking to disqualify Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Minister Satyendra Jain from being an MLA, the Delhi High Court has held that it is for the Prosecution/ trial Court to take appropriate steps in accordance with law.
"…the fact remains that the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is a complete code in itself which provides a mechanism in respect of investigation, inquiry and trial. The Code of Criminal Procedure caters to all contingencies and it is for the prosecution/ court to take appropriate steps in accordance with law.", the Bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed.
Satyendra Jain was arrested in the month of May by Enforcement Directorate under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and is currently in judicial custody.
The petitioner-Ashish Kumar Srivastava who claimed to be a social worker, had filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking to declare Satyendra Jain as a person with unsound mind and subsequently disqualify him from being the member of Legislative Assembly and apparently the Minister in Govt. of NCT of Delhi.
The petitioner stated that Satyendra Jain had himself declared that he has lost his memory. Hence the petitioner prayed for the aforesaid directions.
Advocate Rudra Vikram Singh appeared for the petitioner whereas Additional Solicitor General, Chetan Sharma appeared for the State.
The Court noted that it was that cases were registered against Satyendra Jain and that he is facing prosecution for various offences under the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act as well as Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
However, the Court emphasized that the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is a complete code in itself which provides a mechanism in respect of investigation, inquiry and trial. The Court observed that CrPC caters to all contingencies and it is for the prosecution/ court to take appropriate steps in accordance with law.
"This Court, based upon the averments made in the Writ Petition, in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot declare the respondent No.5 as a person with unsound mind and cannot disqualify him from being a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Minister in the Government of NCT of Delhi in the facts and circumstances of the case.", the Court held while dismissing the petition.
Last month, the High Court had dismissed a petition seeking suspension of Jain from the Cabinet after he was arrested in the money laundering case. It was held that it is for the Chief Minister to consider if a person having criminal background should be allowed to continue as a minister or not.
Cause Title- Ashish Kumar Srivastava v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Ors.
Click here to read/download the Order