The Supreme Court on Monday told former Delhi minister Satyendar Kumar Jain, an accused in a money laundering case, to not make pendency of the proceedings before the apex court a ruse to delay the trial in the case.
A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Bela M Trivedi, which extended Jain's interim bail till October 9, made the remark after the Enforcement Directorate complained about the AAP leader seeking repeated adjournments in the trial court.
"It is made clear that pendency of proceedings before this court or any reason shall not be used as an excuse or ruse to defer proceedings before the trial court, but the petitioner would diligently take part in proceedings before the trial court and allow the case to progress," the bench ordered.
At the outset, a counsel appearing for Jain sought a short adjournment in the case, saying senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who usually represents the former minister is unavailable.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, did not oppose the request but said Jain was seeking repeated adjournment of proceedings to delay the hearing before the trial court.
Requesting the court to order Jain to not seek any further adjournments before the trial court, Raju submitted, "As many as 16 dates have been taken in trial court just to get documents under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (supplying copies of statements recorded by the police, relevant documents, or extracts from the documents to the accused). They are taking adjournments and not proceeding with trial. They are also filing application after application which are frivolous."
The counsel for Jain refuted the claim and said only three adjournments have been sought before the trial court, that too for reasons beyond his client's control.
The bench told Jain's counsel that he should participate diligently in the trial and the court will be recording this in the order. The counsel said they have been appearing before the trial court diligently.
"Then why are you worried? Even if we say this, there will be no issue…Don't try to justify. From now on be diligent," the bench said and adjourned the hearing of Jain's plea for regular bail for further hearing on October 9. It also extended the interim bail granted to co-accused Vaibhav Jain till October 9.
On September 12, the top court had extended till September 25 the interim bail of Jain in the case.
The top court had on May 26 granted interim bail to Jain for six weeks for spinal surgery, saying a citizen has a right to receive treatment of his choice in a private hospital at his own expense.
The ED had arrested the AAP leader on May 30 last year on the charge of laundering money through four companies allegedly linked to him.
The anti-money laundering agency had arrested Jain on the basis of a CBI FIR registered against him in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He was granted regular bail by the trial court on September 6, 2019 in the case registered by the CBI.