A Delhi court on Friday said there is “prima facie sufficient evidence” against Delhi minister Satyendar Jain in the Enforcement Directorate charge-sheet which alleged he and his associates had “utilised” hawala funds to purchase agricultural lands in and around the national capital.
The charge-sheet or prosecution complaint was filed before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Delhi on July 27 and the court has taken its cognisance, the federal agency said in a statement.
The Enforcement Directorate has named Satyendar Jain, his wife Poonam Jain and associates Ajit Prasad Jain, Sunil Kumar Jain, Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain, and companies Akinchan Developers Pvt. Ltd, Paryas Infosolutions Pvt Ltd, Manglayatan Developers Pvt. Ltd and J J Ideal Estate Pvt. Ltd. in the charge-sheet.
Mr Jain, 57, a minister without portfolio in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on May 30. Jain held health, power and few other charges before the probe agency took him into custody.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal had defended his minister saying he was a “hardcore, honest and patriot” person who was being framed in a “false case” and hoped he will come out clean after the probe.
The Enforcement Directorate had also arrested Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain, and they, too, are in judicial custody along with the minister.
The agency said the probe found that “during 2015-16, Satyendar Jain was a public servant and the above mentioned four companies (beneficially owned and controlled by him) received accommodation entries (hawala) to the tune of Rs 4.81 crore from shell (bogus) companies against cash transferred to Kolkata-based entry operators through hawala route.”
“These amounts were utilised for direct purchase of agricultural land or for the repayment of loan taken for purchase of agricultural land in and around Delhi,” the agency alleged.
The accused were “therefore, found to be involved in the activity connected with the proceeds of crime generated as a result of criminal activity related to scheduled offence and thereby have committed offences of Section 3 of PMLA 2002,” it said.
The agency has conducted at least two rounds of raids against the minister’s family and associates.
It had claimed to have seized “unexplained” cash worth Rs 2.85 crore and 133 gold coins after the first round of raids conducted on June 6.
In April, the probe agency had attached assets worth Rs 4.81 crore and companies “beneficially owned and controlled” by him as part of the probe.
The money laundering case against the AAP minister stems from an August 2017 FIR filed by the CBI against him and others on charges of alleged possession of disproportionate assets.
A charge-sheet was filed by the CBI in December 2018 stating that the alleged disproportionate assets was to the tune of Rs 1.47 crore, about 217 per cent more than his known sources of income, during 2015-17.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)