The Delhi High Court rejected a petition on Saturday filed by Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain, challenging a lower court order seeking transfer of his bail plea in a money laundering case from one judge to another.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna observed that the question was not about the integrity or uprightness of the judge from whom the case was transferred, but of apprehension in the mind of the opposite party (Enforcement Directorate).
The High Court noted that ED did not merely harbour an apprehension of bias, but had acted upon it as well by rushing to the High Court and therefore, the apprehension cannot be said to be flimsy or not reasonable.
The Delhi Minister had approached the Delhi High Court against the verdict passed by Principal District and Sessions Court Vinay Kumar Gupta of the Rouse Avenue court, permitting ED’s plea for transfer of Jain’s case from judge Geejanjali Goel to judge Vikas Dhull.
Special Judge Goel had been hearing submissions in Jain’s bail plea and the matter was in its final leg, when transfer of the matter was sought by the ED, alleging bias on part of the judge.
Jain was represented by Senior Advocates Kapil Sibbal and Rahul Mehra, along with Advocates Vivek Jain, Bhawook Chauhan, Vaibhav Yadav, Rishikesh Kumar, Gautam Dhamija, Rajat Gautam, Aditi, Manisha, Devansh Gupta and S. Vali.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju, SPP Zoheb Hossain and Advocates Vivek Gurnani, Anshuman Singh, Ankit Bhatia, Harsh Paul Singh, Kshitiz Aggarwal, Vinayak Sharma and Sidharth appeared for the ED.
As for the other respondents, they were represented by Advocates Sushil Kumar Gupta, Sunita Gupta, Sushil Kumar and Ikshvaaku Marwah.