New Delhi, Sep 1: Supreme Court judge Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra on Friday recused himself from hearing Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain’s bail plea in a money laundering case and also extended his interim bail till the next date of hearing.
A bench of Justices A.S. Bopanna and Mishra presided over the case, wherein Jain has challenged Delhi High Court’s decision denying him bail in April.
During the hearing, senior advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi orally mentioned the matter when the bench assembled, seeking a pass-over. "I want to clarify that I am not seeking an adjournment. I am ready to argue today."
However, on Justice Bopanna saying that they are unable to take it up before this bench, Singhvi clarified that he was only asking for a pass-over, urging the court to re-list the matter for hearing on a Tuesday.
“But if Your Lordships have a difficulty...But to be frank, and Mr Raju will agree with me, it's a Tuesday case. At the minimum, I will take an hour. It's life and death for this person," Singhvi said.
Justice Bopanna directed that Satyendar Jain and co-accused Ankush Jain’s bail plea be listed before Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud to obtain appropriate orders for reassignment to a bench of which Justice Mishra was not a part.
Last week, the court had granted the AAP leader interim bail till September 1 (today), which was also extended on Friday till the next date of hearing.
The bench said: "Obtain orders from Hon'ble the Chief Justice to place it before a bench of which one of us (Justice PK Mishra) is not a part. Order to be obtained and listed on September 12. Interim order to continue till the next date."
Opposing the request made by Satyendar Jain for extension of interim bail, the Central Bureau of Investigation on August 25 had submitted before the Supreme Court that the former Delhi minister should be treated like an ordinary prisoner and be directed to surrender immediately.
“Not a single day (of extension) is warranted… Please ask him to surrender and fix the matter. He should be treated like an ordinary prisoner,” had contended Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate.
“We will provide him physiotherapy. If the physiotherapist says, we will take him to the swimming pool,” Raju had said, pressing for Jain's surrender.
He added that the former Delhi minister should undergo an independent medical evaluation to be carried out by a panel of doctors from AIIMS.
Initially, a bench comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and M.M. Sundresh expressed its disinclination to extend Jain’s interim bail beyond September 5 and said that the AAP leader will have to surrender thereafter.
However, on persuasion made by Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Jain, the bench ordered extension till September 1.
“I am ready to argue today or next Tuesday… before the order of surrender…Your lordships cannot have (an order of) surrender,” said Singhvi.
Earlier on July 24, the top court had extended the AAP leader’s interim bail for five weeks after it was informed that Jain has undergone a spine surgery and requires an extension for recovery.
The Supreme Court on May 26 had initially granted interim bail to Jain for six weeks, saying a citizen has a right to receive treatment of his choice in a private hospital at his own expense.
It was contended before the top court that Jain has extreme health problems and has lost over 30 kgs.
In April this year, the Delhi High Court had dismissed bail pleas of Jain and his two aides in a money laundering case being probed by the central agency.
Jain has been in custody since May 30 last year in a money laundering case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate.