Delhi High Court Law Insider

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: 22nd August, 2022 at 22:29 IST

According to the Delhi High Court, the claims made in the public interest litigation (PIL) petition cannot be used to declare Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain to be of incompetent mind or to remove him from his position as minister.

Jain is being prosecuted for a number of offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Prevention of Corruption Act, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, a division bench led by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad remarked (PMLA).

However, the court noted that the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is still a comprehensive code that offers a procedure for investigation, enquiry, and trial.

According to the allegations in the writ petition, the court “cannot, in the facts and circumstances of the case, declare respondent No. 5 to be a person of unsound mind and cannot disqualify him from being a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Minister in the Government of NCT of Delhi,” the court ruled.

Ashish Srivastava of the All India Professional Congress had submitted a PIL through attorney Rudra Vikram Singh, and the court was considering it.

The petitioner had asked for the creation of a medical panel to examine Jain’s mental state and a directive to the Delhi government declaring all of Jain’s decisions made after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 as void.

Jain is being held by authorities after being charged with money laundering. He still serves as a minister in Arvind Kejriwal’s administration, managing duties for things like industries, power, water, urban development, and health and family welfare.

According to the argument made in the petition, if a competent court finds that a person is not of sound mind, they are unable to serve as a member of the legislative assembly or legislative council under Article 191(1)(b) of the Constitution.

According to reports, Jain admitted to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers that he has trouble remembering details like his signature and the trusts or organisations he belongs to as a result of the severe COVID-19 aftereffects.

In support of its argument that Jain is still serving as a prominent cabinet minister and enjoying his position as an MLA despite having admitted to losing his memory to ED officers and the Rouse Avenue Court through Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, the petition highlighted Jain’s admission.

The petitioner was represented by attorneys Manish Kumar and Rudra Vikram Singh. Advocates Kirtiman Singh, Waize Ali Noor, Amit Gupta, Rishav Dubey, Sahaj Garg, Kunjala Bhardwaj, Madhav Bajaj, and Saurabh Tripathi appeared for respondents together with Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma.

It’s interesting to note that the Delhi High Court recently rejected a PIL calling for Jain to be removed from the Delhi cabinet on the basis that he had been charged with serious offences.

While the Court stated that it could not order Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to fire Jain from his cabinet, it expressed the hope that the CM will uphold the confidence placed in him by the public while choosing ministers.

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