ED claims watertight case against Satyendar Jain even as AAP cries foul

Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain is likely to face tough questions from the Law Enforcement Directorate. A Delhi court has granted custody of Jain to ED until June 9 in a money laundering case. A political fight ensued, with the Aam Aadmi party calling it vendetta politics, but the ED dug in.

There are half a dozen issues on which the AAP and the ED disagree.

First, the AAP said that Jain was not a serving minister in Arvind Kejriwal’s government during the alleged period of the offense and second, he resigned from all companies in 2013, which engaged in the money laundering.

AAP leaders said his name was wrongly dragged into the controversy. Senior AAP official Sanjay Singh said, “The BJP government alleged that Jain was involved in hawala work through some companies between 2015 and 2017. The truth is that Jain resigned from all these companies in March 2013 and had nothing to do with these companies. during the period 2015-2017. »

But ED clearly disagrees, saying there is a watertight case against the minister. Investigators claimed that Jain was involved in the money laundering offense from 2010 to 2016 through three Kolkata-based hawala operators as well as several Delhi-registered paper companies. Investigators said the money trail revealed that these companies were owned and controlled by Jain with the help of family members. The agency alleged that Jain received hawala entries of Rs 16.39 crore from 56 paper companies of three hawala entry operators in Kolkata – Jivendra Mishra, Abhishek Chokhani and Rajendra Bansal.

The agency claimed that Jain invested the laundered money in farmland.

The investigation revealed the purchase of more than 200 bigha of land in Karala, Auchandi, Nizampur and Budham in North and North West regions of Delhi worth Rs 27.69 million, on behalf of of paper companies from 2010 to 2016. “The farmland investment was made from the proceeds of laundered money from the paper companies in Kolkata,” an investigator said. “These were near unauthorized settlements,” he said.

Jain has been a minister in the Kejriwal government since December 2013.

The ED also denied claims that Jain had quit all the businesses and alleged that they were controlled by his family members. ED officials have claimed that there is direct evidence against Jain, backed up by statements from the hawala entrance operator confessing his involvement and citing tax records. While in ER custody, Jain is likely to be confronted with the physical evidence against him as well as statements from other people interviewed by the agency so far.

Investigators explained the modus operandi, saying that Jain initially acted as a director and shareholder of some of the companies and that all agreements for the company to purchase the land were signed by him. Later, a family member became the director of the company, holding a majority share. A similar modus operandi has been applied in the case of other companies.

The ED further relies on disclosures made by Jain himself, benami properties attached under the Benami Real Estate Transactions Act 1988, the CBI indictment against Jain; indications by the Shunglu committee for several violations and investment details provided by Jain before the election commission.

Jain is also likely to be questioned about his professional and educational qualifications, his employment at CPWD, a central government organization, and subsequent investment in multimillion-dollar land, saying it was past savings. .

The case has all the makings of a political tussle with the alleged money laundering era overlapping the AAP government’s efforts to regularize unauthorized settlements during its first term of 2013-14. Whether the proposed regularization of unauthorized settlements could convert agricultural land into residential and commercial land, in turn offering huge returns on investment by Jain, will be further investigated.

ED also contradicts Kejriwal’s claim that he personally investigated ED’s case against Jain and found it to be completely fraudulent.

Moreover, agency officials also back up their claims with crucial findings from a 2019 Delhi High Court order where its role is documented. Jain’s name came up when the undisclosed income that each of the petitioners sought to declare under the income tax filing scheme was rejected because it allegedly belonged to Jain. The court called it a clear case of suppression of material facts, which justified the dismissal of the statements, the official pointed out.

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