The Supreme Court today granted interim bail to the AAP leader Satyendar Kumar Jain on medical grounds. The Court considered the present medical reports of the leader and granted him conditional interim bail with the permission of taking treatment at any private hospital of his choice. The AAP leader had approached the Apex Court in a Special Leave Petition challenging the order of the Delhi High Court which had denied him bail.

The Vacation Bench of Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice P.S. Narasimha directed that "We are inclined to consider the interim bail on medical grounds considering the report. The applicant be released on interim bail on medical grounds on conditions as imposed by the trial court with the additional condition that the applicant shall not influence and meet with any of the witnesses who are on the witness list. He shall not leave the area of NCT without the leave of the court." The Court also allowed the leader to take treatment at any private hospital of his choice.

The Court also directed that "the treatment which is taken on interim bail, all the relevant papers be produced before this court. This order shall remain in operation till 11th of July." The Court further stated that Jain shall not make any statement on any issue in the press or media.

Appearing for the AAP leader, Senior Advocate A.M. Singhvi at the outset told the Court that today he seeks bail only on medical grounds and not on the merits of the present case. "I am only for the moment pressing the medical ground" submitted Singhvi.

Opposing the bail application, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju appeared for the Enforcement Directorate and submitted "Let him be examined by AIIMS, we have doubt on Lok Nayak Hospital. Let an independent body examine him. He was the health minister and jail minister, we have serious apprehension about the medical report. I am not opposing, let him be considered by a panel of doctors of AIIMS." Raju told the Bench that Jain was a health minister and he knows the Doctors of hospitals under the Delhi Government. He further said that "Either Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital or AIIMS consider him"

Singhvi submitted that Jain is in jail for 1 year. In predicate offence, he got bail in 2019 and lastly, they interrogated him on 7 dates on which the Bench remarked that they are not on merits but on medical grounds. "We will list it after vacation if you want to argue on merits" observed the Bench.

The Court further asked the ASG what was the reason for him to say that they have no confidence in the medical report. Commenting on the previous conduct of the minister, the ASG submitted "The moment we say let him go to AIIMS he withdraws his application, all these reports should not be taken by a pinch of salt but by a large pinch of salt. He suddenly gets well when we say let him be examined by AIIMS. He has fooled everybody. Let him be examined, if the reports say his health is bad we will concede but his previous conduct is to be looked at."

ASG further stated that "LNJP hospital may not be considered. This is a case that there should be an independent evaluation before any order is passed for granting him bail and no prejudice will be caused as he is already in hospital"

Objecting to the arguments Singhv said that "JB Pant hospital is a mandatory hospital for all Tihar inmates. Today's report doesn’t lie and can't be refuted. Where will he run where will he go beyond the reach of the Court, he will be back in 1-2 months. He has got muscular atrophy and has become a skeleton. He is on the waiting list for spinal vertebrae surgery. He needs a private hospital." Singhvi further submitted that Jain has a spinal problem and he has lost 33 kgs.

The Apex Court considering the submissions granted interim bail on medical grounds to the minister and observed that we will have an independent evaluation after persuing the medical reports and adjourned the matter for July 2023.

In the impugned order, the Delhi High Court had observed that Jain is an influential person and may tamper with evidence. The High Court also held that there was no illegality or infirmity in the trial court's order by which the bail pleas were dismissed. While pronouncing the order, the high court said Satyendar Jain cannot be said to have satisfied the twin conditions for bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and dismissed the bail plea.

Satyendar Jain, who was arrested on May 30 last year by the agency, is accused of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him. The ED had arrested Satyendar Jain in the money laundering case based on a CBI FIR registered against him in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In 2022, the trial court had taken cognizance of the prosecution complaint (charge sheet) filed by the ED against Satyendar Jain, his wife, and eight others, including the four firms, in connection with the money laundering case.

Cause Title: Satyendar Kumar Jain v. Directorate Of Enforcement [SLP(Crl) No. 6561/2023]