Delhi minister Satyendar Jain does not require hospitalisation, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has submitted before the Delhi high court on Tuesday, while seeking an independent medical assessment of his health at a central government hospital.
The submission is part of a petition by the central probe agency in which it has challenged a trial court’s order of July 6 by which the special judge rejected ED’s prayer to get Jain evaluated medically by a hospital such as Ram Manohar Lohia hospital or AIIMS, instead of Lok Nayak, which is run by the state government.
Jain’s lawyer termed the accusations “baseless” and “inhumane”. The petition was listed for hearing on Tuesday before justice Yogesh Khanna, but the matter could not be heard.
Jain, who was arrested by the central agency on May 30 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was admitted to the Lok Nayak hospital on June 20 after he complained of palpitations, breathing trouble and muscle ache. The minister is currently under judicial custody.
In its petition, ED contended that, on June 27, the investigating officer (IO) in the case against Jain went to Lok Nayak hospital and found him sleeping without any cannula attached to his hand or any other medical monitors attached to his body. According to the petition, the IO found that Jain’s wife was present in the hospital room.
The agency also claimed that when the IO reached the room, Jain immediately wore an oxygen mask, the BP apparatus belt, and the monitor was switched on.
“It was under these suspicious circumstances, and the fact that prima facie the condition of the respondent was not such which required hospitalisation, an application was preferred (before the trial court) seeking a direction that he may be admitted to any independent hospital such as the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital or AIIMS at New Delhi for an independent evaluation of his health,” ED said in the petition.
The agency argued that the Lok Nayak hospital may be influenced to give a “biased report” since Jain, who held the health portfolio, continues to be shown prominently on the home page of the hospital’s website, as well as on the plaque in the hospital commemorating the inauguration by him as the guest of honour.
It further raised doubts as to whether the Lok Nayak hospital, or even the GB Pant Hospital, where he was taken first on June 20 and later referred to Lok Nayak, would be able to independently assess the medical condition of Jain. It added that hospitals might be “tutored” to give a report in Jain’s favour.
ED’s plea is similar to what the agency sought before the Calcutta high court in connection with the medical evaluation of West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, who was moved from Kolkata’s SSKM hospital to AIIMS Bhubaneshwar for an evaluation.
The against Jain is based on a 2017 CBI FIR against him. ED has accused Jain of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him and where he was holding shares, while amassing disproportionate income.
According to ED, Jain transferred money to Kolkata through hawala channel and got it back from dummy companies in the form of accommodation entries, even though he could not show the source of the money received.
Jain has denied all wrongdoing, and has maintained that he was associated to the alleged companies only in the capacity of architect. He and the Aam Aadmi Party have called the case political vendetta by the Centre.