The Supreme Court on Friday gave jailed former Delhi minister Satyendar Jain six weeks interim bail on medical grounds, the relief coming a day after he collapsed in Tihar Jail due to dizziness and was admitted to the ICU of a government hospital.
The Aam Aadmi Party leader has been in Tihar Jail since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case in May last year.
A bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha allowed Jain, 58, to undergo treatment in a hospital of his choice and asked him to produce medical records by July 10. It also directed Jain to not talk to the media during his interim bail period that ends on July 11.
Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Jain, said the former minister has lost 35 kg and is suffering from a spine problem.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, sought Jain's examination by a panel of doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) or Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital here. If medical reports suggest treatment, the probe agency will not oppose it, he said.
He submitted that Jain had moved petitions for bail on medical grounds in the case earlier as well, but the pleas were withdrawn as the agency sought his examination by a medical board of AIIMS or RML hospital.
"He was health minister and jail minister of Delhi. He needs to be examined at a hospital that was not under him," Raju said, claiming earlier medical reports prepared by hospitals were found to be fake.
The bench said it is considering enlarging Jain on medical bail but would look into his examination by doctors of either AIIMS or RML hospital on the next date of hearing.
On Thursday, Jain was first admitted to the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital and later shifted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital due to breathing problems, AAP leaders said. He was "critically ill", they said.
The LNJP Hospital is the largest hospital under the Delhi government.
It was the second time in a week the former minister, who collapsed in a bathroom of Tihar Jail, had been taken to hospital. Earlier too, Jain had fallen in the bathroom and suffered a serious spinal injury, the AAP said.
On May 18, the top court sought the ED's response on Jain's plea. It issued notice to the ED and granted liberty to Jain to move before the vacation bench for relief and urgent listing of his plea.
On April 6, the Delhi High Court dismissed Jain's bail plea in the money laundering case, noting the witnesses' claim that he was the conceptualiser, initiator and fund provider in the alleged crime.
The high court said the senior AAP leader was an influential person having the potential to tamper with evidence.
The ED arrested Jain on May 30 last year on the charge of laundering money through four companies allegedly linked to him. The arrest took place in the aftermath of a CBI FIR registered against him in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
He was granted regular bail by the trial court on September 6, 2019 in the case registered by the CBI.
In 2022, the trial court took cognisance of the prosecution complaint (ED version of charge sheet) filed by the federal probe agency against Jain, his wife and eight others, including the four firms, in connection with the money laundering case.
On November 17 last year, the trial court dismissed the bail pleas of Jain and two others in the case.
It said Jain was prima facie involved in concealing the proceeds of crime.
Besides him, the trial court also denied bail to Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain, saying they "knowingly" assisted Satyendar Jain in concealing the proceeds of crime and were "prima facie guilty" of money laundering.
(With PTI inputs)