Satyendar Jain

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, VK Saxena, has granted permission for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to launch a probe into allegations of extortion levelled against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi Cabinet Minister Satyendar Jain. The case pertains to a complaint filed by Sukesh Chandrashekhar, a man accused of various money laundering offences, who had alleged that Jain extorted Rs. 10 crore from him for protection inside the Tihar Jail in Delhi. 

Some key details regarding this case are as follows:

  • Sukesh Chandrashekhar was arrested in 2017 for allegedly extorting money from various people by impersonating government authorities. He has been lodged in Tihar Jail since then and is currently facing multiple charges of extortion, forgery and money laundering amounting to thousands of crores.
  • In his complaint, Chandrashekhar alleged that when he was lodged in Tihar Jail, Satyendar Jain, who was then the Minister for Jail Administration in Delhi, demanded Rs. 10 crore as “protection money” from him in order to allow him to live safely and comfortably inside the prison. 
  • Chandrashekhar further alleged that between 2018 to 2021, when Jain was still the Minister, he paid this amount to Jain in multiple installments through his associates. He also accused Sandeep Goel, who was then the Director General of Tihar Jails, of involvement in the extortion racket. 
  • Chandrashekhar also claimed that Jain used his influence in the jail administration to provide special treatment to some high-profile inmates, including himself, in exchange for payment. It has been alleged that Jain even ensured that Chandrashekhar was lodged in a separate cell with facilities.
  • Based on Chandrashekhar’s complaint, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor’s office, which has the authority to sanction probes in cases against legislators, examined the matter and decided there was a need for a thorough investigation by an independent agency. 
  • Subsequently, the LG granted permission to the CBI to launch a probe against Satyendar Jain under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act for the alleged extortion of Rs. 10 crore from Chandrashekhar. Former Tihar Jail Director General Sandeep Goel will also be investigated.
  • The LG has referred the matter to the Ministry of Home Affairs as well for necessary action. Earlier in February 2024, he had sanctioned a CBI probe against another former Tihar jail official in a related case of extortion.
  • Satyendar Jain is currently in judicial custody, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case in May 2022. The ED’s investigations had revealed that Jain was receiving illegal kickbacks disguised as “medical reimbursements” when he was the Minister. 
  • If found guilty in the CBI case, Jain could face charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act which provides for up to 7 years of imprisonment for public servants convicted of bribery. The case threatens to turn into a major embarrassment for the AAP government.
  • The AAP has denied all allegations against Jain and called them politically motivated. However, the LG’s approval for an independent investigation will allow a thorough probe into the extortion charges against the senior party leader.

The CBI investigation sanctioned into the matter will aim to determine the veracity of the extortion allegations made by Sukesh Chandrashekhar against Satyendar Jain and former Tihar jail officials. If proven guilty, it could lead to imprisonment for the AAP leader. However, a free and fair investigation will be important to establish the full truth in the case.