The Delhi High Court Tuesday reserved its decision on a petition seeking an order declaring minister and AAP MLA Satyendar Jain, who is in judicial custody in an alleged money laundering case, as “a person with unsound mind” and his resultant disqualification from Assembly.
The plea said Jain, during questioning, had told the ED officers that he lost his memory on account of Covid. “We will pass appropriate orders,” said the division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad after briefly hearing a counsel representing the petitioner Ashish Kumar Srivastava.
Srivastava, who said he is a social worker, also had prayed for setting up of a medical board to analyse Jain’s medical condition and for declaring all the decisions he took since suffering from Covid as null and void.
“One of the cabinet ministers in the Delhi government Mr Satyendar Kumar Jain, also the member of Legislative Assembly from Shakur Basti Assembly constituency, himself declared that he lost his memory, before the Officers of Enforcement Directorate and the same has also been informed to the Special Judge Rouse Avenue District Court, New Delhi by the Additional Solicitor General. But unfortunately, he is still continuing the important Cabinet Minister portfolio in Delhi government and still enjoying the post of Member of Legislative Assembly of Delhi Assembly,” said the petition.
Citing Article 191 (1)(b) of the Constitution and stating that the provision provides for disqualification of a state lawmaker who is of “unsound mind”, the petition said the news of Jain “losing memory” has been covered by all the media sources and his continuing “with so many important portfolios of the government is cheating with the voters of Delhi”.
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On another petition seeking suspension of Jain, who has been in custody since May 30, from the state cabinet, the bench headed by Chief Justice last month said it is for the CM to act in the best interest of the state and consider whether a person who has been charged with offences involving moral turpitude should be allowed to continue as a minister.
Observing that while it is not for the court to issue directions to the CM, the court said it is, however, its duty to remind the “key duty holders” about their role with regard to upholding the tenets of the Constitution.