SC puts ED on notice over Soren’s plea against arrest : The Tribune India

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SC puts ED on notice over Soren’s plea against arrest

Asks central probe agency to file reply by May 17

SC puts ED on notice over Soren’s plea against arrest


Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, May 13

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on former Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren’s petition challenging his arrest in a money laundering case linked to a land scam.

A Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta, which had given 21-day interim bail to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal last week, asked the ED to respond to Soren’s petition by May 17, the next date of hearing.

Initially, the Bench was not inclined to take up the matter before May 20 but it agreed to list it on May 17 after senior counsel Kapil Sibal submitted on behalf of Soren that the whole exercise would become infructuous if there was a delay in deciding the petition as the Lok Sabha elections would be over.

As the Bench was not agreeing to a date of hearing before May 20, Sibal said, “Then dismiss it...elections are over… Kejriwal order covers me…”

“What? We are giving the shortest possible date,” Justice Khanna said but finally agreed to take up Soren’s petition on May 17.

Sibal sought to emphasise that Soren’s prayer for release was covered by the top court’s May 10 order granting three-week interim bail to Kejriwal to campaign in the ongoing Lok Sabha poll.

Polling for 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand is scheduled to be held in four phases — May 13 (four seats), May 20 (three seats), May 25 (four seats) and June 1 (three seats).

Earlier, Justice Khanna asked Sibal if Soren was in possession of the land in question. “I was never in possession of the land… I have nothing to do with the land. This statement can be recorded,” Sibal told the Bench.

Soren has challenged the May 3 order of the Jharkhand High Court dismissing his petition against the arrest. He has also sought interim bail for campaigning in the Lok Sabha poll till the court delivers its verdict on his plea against arrest.

Soren was arrested on January 31 in the case after he resigned as the Jharkhand CM, and party loyalist and state Transport Minister Champai Soren was named as his successor. Soren is lodged in judicial custody at Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. The ED has alleged that “huge amounts of proceeds of crime” were generated by Soren through manipulation of official records by showing dummy sellers and purchasers in the guise of forged/bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores of rupees.

On May 10, the Bench had disposed of his petition seeking a direction to the high court to deliver its verdict on his petition challenging his arrest by the ED in a money laundering case as it had become infructuous in view of the fact that the high court delivered its judgment on May 3 and the JMM leader had already challenged it in the top court.

Soren has contended that the high court erred in dismissing his plea against the arrest.

PIL on removal of Kejri as Delhi CM junked

  • The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a PIL seeking removal of Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister of Delhi following his arrest in a money laundering case linked to the excise policy scam
  • “It’s up to the Delhi L-G if he wants to act, but we will not interfere,” a Bench led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna said
  • “When the matter was being heard, we had posed the same question then also. Ultimately, it’s a matter of propriety and there is no legal right,” the Bench told petitioner Kant Bhati, who had challenged the Delhi High Court’s April 10 order dismissing his PIL

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#Enforcement Directorate #Hemant Soren #Jharkhand #Supreme Court


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