The Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud today refused to intervene in the proceedings related to the Special Leave Petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain to be heard today by a Bench of Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma.

The CJI-led Bench also comprising of Justice J.B. Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, declined to issue any directives on urgent mentioning by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Satyendar Jain, objecting to the matter being listed before Justice Trivedi.

Background: A Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice P.S. Narasimha had on May 26, 2023, granted interim bail to the AAP leader Satyendar Kumar Jain on medical grounds with the permission to take treatment at any private hospital of his choice. The Court further proceeded to schedule the regular bail application for consideration on its merits.

Subsequently, the case was listed before the Bench, comprising Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice Bela M. Trivedi, for hearing. Later, due to Justice Bopanna's absence, attributed to his illness, the case was reassigned to the regular bench of Justice Trivedi and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma. Senior Advocate Singhvi expressed his objection to the case being listed before the Trivedi-led Bench and requested an adjournment until January, advocating for the matter to be heard by the Bench led by Justice Bopanna.

In response, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju raised concerns about a prolonged deferment, emphasizing the impact on the interim relief granted to Jain. Singhvi also sought permission to mention the matter before the Chief Justice of India for clarification. Despite previous adjournments by Justice Trivedi, the case was once again listed today before the regular bench of Justice Trivedi, as the matter was not mentioned before the CJI till today.

Singhvi, today mentioned the matter before the CJI. He stated, "I am troubling your lordships with the unlisted mentioning due to urgency. We couldn't do it earlier due to the Constitution Bench. We had told the other Bench presided over by Justice Bela Trivedi that it was the Bench of Justice Bopanna and Justice Trivedi which had heard for more than 2 hours, a special bench assigned by your lordships."

Continuing, Singhvi further apprised the CJI, "This is the matter of Satyendar Jain. Now Justice Bopanna will sit in January, so we told her that we will seek clarity. She allowed us to seek clarification here. It's a part-heard matter argued for more than 2 hours."

CJI stated, "We will pass some orders by Evening today." Singhvi further stated, "No, it is listed today. So we will tell the learned Judge that we had sought liberty to mention it here."

Quick to respond, the CJI stated, "No-No... I am not issuing any directions to the learned Judge. The learned Judge will decide what she has to do."

On the other hand, ASG Raju intervened, "There is interim relief operating against us. If the matter is delayed, it will continue." Singhvi further requested the CJI, "Place it in January before Justices Bopanna and Trivedi"

However, the CJI further stated, "If it is listed before a Judge, the Judge will take a call of what to do. I will not control what the Judge is doing in the matter listed before her. The judge has to take a call. I cannot. I have not even read the papers."

"We will ask for deferment", submitted Sinhgvi, The CJI replied, "I am not commenting on that. She is in charge of the Court."

The Court accordingly refused to pass any directions.

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.

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

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