Delhi court transfers proceedings in Bhushan Steel PMLA case after allegations of bias

A Delhi court has transferred proceedings in the Bhushan Steel money laundering case from one judge to another after allegations of bias was made by one of the accused.

The move comes after one of the accused claimed that the presiding judge made a comment suggesting a bias towards matters involving the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Principal District and Sessions Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna of Rouse Avenue Courts noted the accused’s perception that they may not receive an impartial hearing from the court and deemed it necessary to give due regard to such concerns.

The court said that pleas supported by affidavits cannot be dismissed outright, and relegating the applicant to a court where specific allegations of bias exist could adversely affect their case.

Noting that the case is still in its initial stage, the court observed that transferring the proceedings to another court would not prejudice the ED.

Consequently, the court ordered the transfer of the case to Special Judge Mukesh Kumar for adjudication and disposal according to the law.

The application for transfer was filed by Ajay S. Mittal, an accused in the PMLA case, who alleged that the judge had already formed an opinion against granting bail in ED matters.

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The accused expressed a reasonable apprehension that they would not receive a fair opportunity to present their case due to the judge’s perceived bias.

While the ED opposed the application, stating that no such statement was made by the judge or any court staff member, the court ultimately ruled in favour of transferring the proceedings to uphold the principles of impartiality, integrity, and the rule of law.

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