Supreme Court pulls up Hemant Soren for ‘suppressing facts’ : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court pulls up Hemant Soren for ‘suppressing facts’

Jharkhand ex-CM withdraws plea against his arrest | Can’t campaign now

Supreme Court pulls up Hemant Soren for ‘suppressing facts’

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, May 22

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren will miss the 2024 Lok Sabha poll campaign as the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain his plea against arrest in a money laundering case linked to a land scam for “suppressing facts” regarding filing of a regular bail plea in the trial court.

“Your conduct tells a lot. We expected your client to come up with candour but you suppressed material facts… Your conduct is not without blemish,” a Vacation Bench of Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma told senior counsel Kapil Sibal, who represented Soren.

Conduct not without blemish

Your conduct tells a lot. We expected your client to come up with candour but you (counsel Kapil Sibal) suppressed material facts… Your conduct is not without blemish. —Vacation Bench

As Sibal said the JMM leader was in custody and did not have any knowledge about the petitions being filed in courts, the Bench said, “He is not a layman”.

Sibal chose to withdraw Soren’s petition challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after the top court said it would dismiss his petition against arrest without going into the merits of the case. The Bench cautioned him that if it went into the details of the case, it would be “damaging” for the JMM leader.

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).

Arrested on January 31 in the case by the ED, Soren is currently lodged in judicial custody in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail. He had challenged the May 3 order of the Jharkhand High Court dismissing his petition against the arrest.

Seeking parity with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was released on 21-day interim bail by the top court on May 10, Soren had also sought interim bail for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections till the court delivered its verdict on his plea against arrest by the ED.

On Tuesday, the top court had asked Soren to explain if it could examine the validity of his arrest after the trial court took cognisance of the ED complaint (chargesheet) against him in a money-laundering case.

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