Satyendar Jain’s disqualification from serving as a member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly had been requested in a PIL that had been submitted to the High Court.

In Ashish Kumar Srivastava v. Government of NCT of Delhi & Ors, the Delhi High Court stated that it could not declare Delhi minister Satyendar Jain to be of unsound mind or bar him from serving as the minister based on the claims stated in the PIL petition.

It is true that cases have been filed against Jain, and he is being prosecuted for various offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Prevention of Corruption Act, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, according to a division bench led by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad (PMLA).

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

According to the allegations in the writ petition, “This Court, in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, cannot declare the respondent No. 5 as 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 in the facts and circumstances of the case,” the Court stated.

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 invalid.

Jain is being held by authorities after being charged with money laundering. He yet remains a minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government, holding duties for things like urban development, industries, power, and water.

The argument in the petition was that under Article 191(1)(b) of the Constitution, if a person’s insanity is determined by a competent court, that person is unable to serve as a member of the legislative assembly or legislative council.

According to reports, Jain informed ED officials that COVID-19’s severe aftereffects had caused him to lose memory of details like his signature and the trusts or organisations he belongs to.

This admission by Jain was used in the petition to argue that despite telling ED officers that he had lost his memory and disclosing the same to the Rouse Avenue Court by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, Jain is still serving as an important cabinet minister and enjoying his position as an MLA, the petition claimed.

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

It’s interesting to note that the Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL last month that demanded Jain be removed from the Delhi government since he had been charged with major offences.

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

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