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Declare arrested Delhi minister as person with unsound mind says plea in HC

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New Delhi, Aug 10: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Delhi High Court seeking to declare AAP leader Satyendar Jain, arrested in a money laundering case, a "person with unsound mind" and disqualify him as MLA and minister, news agency PTI reported.

The petition is listed for hearing before a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on August 16.

AAP leader Satyendar Jain

Last month, the high court dismissed a plea to suspend Jain from the Cabinet following his arrest in the money laundering case, saying it is for the chief minister to consider whether a person with a criminal background should be allowed to continue as a minister or not.

In the instant case, the petitioner -- Ashish Kumar Srivastava -- claimed in his plea that Jain has "himself declared that he lost his memory" before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and informed the same to the trial court as well.

ED moves court on lawyer’s presence during Satyendra Jain’s interrogationED moves court on lawyer’s presence during Satyendra Jain’s interrogation

The plea, filed through lawyer Rudra Vikram Singh, stated that in response to Jain's bail application before the trial court, the ED informed that the AAP leader has "accepted that he had lost his memory due to severe Covid" and "the news of losing the memory is covered by all media sources and it is very much in the public domain".

"Continuing an unsound person with so many important portfolios of the Government is cheating the voters of Delhi, who have elected a person with clean image and good mental health... Respondent No 5 (Jain) is holding an important portfolio in Government and because of his mental illness/unsound mind/memory loss the public of the NCT of Delhi will suffer a lot," the petition said.

The petitioner thus asserted that in light of of Article 191 (1)(b) of the Constitution of India clearly, which mandates that an MLA has to be disqualified if he is of "unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court, Jain cannot continue holding the important portfolio of a Delhi Cabinet minister and enjoying the post of an MLA.

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