SC imposes Rs 20K fine on plea to declare Jain of ‘unsound mind’

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and A.S. Oka said the plea filed by a Delhi resident is frivolous and dismissed the petition with a fine of Rs 20,000.
Satyendar Jain
Satyendar Jain

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday junked a plea seeking to declare Delhi minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Satyendar Jain as "a person with unsound mind" and disqualify him from the Assembly on this ground, and imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on the petitioner.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and A.S. Oka said the plea filed by a Delhi resident is frivolous and dismissed the petition with a fine of Rs 20,000.

"It is such a misconceived and frivolous petition that it deserves to be dismissed with a cost of Rs 20,000," it said.

Jain has been in judicial custody in a money laundering case since May 30.

Petitioner Ashish Kumar Srivastava's lawyer contended before the bench that Jain had told the ED officers during questioning that he lost his memory due to Covid-19. The counsel added that the AAP MLA stands disqualified under Article 191(1)(b) of the Constitution which provides for disqualification of a lawmaker who is of unsound mind.

The top court said Jain did not say that he has lost his memory but he perhaps said he doesn't remember a few things and pointed out that there is a difference, and also, Covid presented a scenario where people were affected.

It asked the petitioner to deposit the penalty within a week, adding "It (plea) is so ridiculous that we must ask you to pay the cost."

The petitioner moved the apex court challenging an order passed by the Delhi High Court in August dismissing his petition. The high court noted that the Code of Criminal Procedure caters to all contingencies and it is for the prosecution/court to take appropriate steps in accordance with law.

Jain has been accused of having laundered money through four companies linked to him and where he was holding shares.

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