SC extends AAP leader Satyendar Jain’s interim bail; CJI clarifies why bench was changed

On Thursday, Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud provided clarification on the reassignment of the bail plea for AAP leader Satyendar Jain, who is facing money laundering charges. The shift to a different bench occurred due to the unavailability of Justice A S Bopanna after Diwali for medical reasons.

The clarification came in response to Senior Advocate A M Singhvi\’s objection, representing Jain, about the case being transferred to a bench headed by Justice Bela M Trivedi. Singhvi requested a deferment until Justice Bopanna returned to work.

During the pre-noon session, the CJI, overseeing a three-judge bench, explained, \”There is a communication from the residential office of Justice Bopanna. Due to medical reasons, he did not resume duties after Diwali. He stated that all matters which were heard by him should be kept as de-part heard. Therefore, this matter was assigned to Justice Trivedi who had last heard the matter.\”

Declining to interfere with the listing, the CJI told Singhvi, \”I will not control what the judge is doing in the matter listed before her. The judge who has the case will decide. I cannot…\”

After the lunch break, the CJI offered additional clarification, stating that Justice Bopanna himself had requested the matters to be released from his bench and assigned to Justice Trivedi, who initially heard the case with him.

Expressing surprise at bar members wanting a specific judge for their matters, the CJI remarked, \”I found it surprising for members of the bar to say that they want a particular judge to hear their matter or not hear their matter.\”

Following this clarification, a bench comprising Justices Trivedi and S C Sharma took up the matter, extending Jain\’s interim medical bail until January 8. The Supreme Court had granted interim bail to Jain, the former health minister in the AAP Delhi government, on May 26 this year, after the High Court had denied him bail, prompting him to approach the Supreme Court.

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