The Delhi High Court has suspended the lower court’s order to allow a lawyer to be present while Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain is being questioned. Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on May 30 in a money laundering case.
The court had allowed Jane to be present during the interrogation at a distance from where he could not hear anything but could see the process.
Judge Yogesh Khanna said such a directive could be issued when there was reliable material indicating a potential danger or real fear of pressure exerted during the recording of the statement. He said that if no concerns had been raised in the matter, then guidance should not have been given.
On June 3, the Supreme Court had retained its order on the Enforcement Directorate (ED) petition to challenge the direction. The judge said that since there is no FIR or complaint registered against the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he cannot claim his lawyer’s right to be present while his statement is being recorded.
The Supreme Court said that if the statement was videotaped and an audio was recorded, it would remove any fear of any coercion or threat.
The stay order was issued based on a petition by the emergency director, who appealed the May 31 order of the lower court. The court allowed a lawyer to be present, remotely, during Jain’s interrogation in custody from May 31 to June 9. The court brought the order to the next hearing on August 24.
Jane was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and returned to ED custody until June 9 by the lower court on May 31.