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CJI DY Chandrachud refuses to interfere with listing of Satyendar Jain bail plea before Justice Bela Trivedi

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice Bela Trivedi

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice Bela Trivedi

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on Thursday refused to intervene in the issue of listing of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Satyendar Jain’s petition for bail in a money laundering case before the bench headed of Justice Bela M Trivedi.

CJI Chandrachud reacted sharply when Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhviwho represents Jain, mentioned the matter and sought deferment of the hearing of the case listed before the bench headed by Justice Trivedi, till Justice AS Bopanna returns from leave.

This case was listed before Justice AS Bopanna. He had heard it for 2.5 hours. Now the case is listed before Justice Bela Trivedi,” Singhvi submitted.

However, Justice Chandrachud in response said,

“I will not control what the judge is doing in the matter listed before her. The judge who has the case will decide. I cannot. I cannot take a call…”

Singhvi insisted and requested the CJI to look into the case papers once. “We wish to [only] seek a deferment,” the AAP leader’s counsel said.

However, the CJI responded that only the judge before whom the matter is listed will take a call. “I will not,” Justice Chandrachud said.

Justice Trivedi in an earlier hearing of Jain’s bail plea had turned down the request to adjourn the matter to January, when Justice Bopanna is expected to return to Court.

Since Jain is currently on interim medical bail, Justice Trivedi had not acceded to the request. However, she had given a liberty to Jain’s counsel to mention the matter before the CJI.

In recent weeks, the Supreme Court has witnessed a major controversy over listing of certain cases that were earlier heard by other benches, before the bench headed by Justice Trivedi.

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave and Advocate Prashant Bhushan had separately written letters to the CJI in this regard.

In response, a highly placed source in the Supreme Court and the Registry had clarified to Bar and Bench that .

The Supreme Court in May this year had , who had been behind bars since May 2022 when he was arrested by the ED.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had initially registered a case against Jain under Sections 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servant) read with 13(e) (disproportionate assets) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Jain.

The case was registered on the allegation that Jain had acquired movable properties in the name of various persons between 2015 and 2017 which he could not satisfactorily account for.

Later, the ED also registered a case and alleged several companies beneficially owned and controlled by him received accommodation entries amounting to ₹4.81 crore from shell companies against cash transferred to Kolkata-based entry operators through a hawala route.

The High Court, while denying bail, had held that Jain is an influential person and cannot be said to have satisfied the twin conditions for bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The High Court confirmed the order of a on November 17, 2022, leading to filing of the appeal before the top court.

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