Hemant Soren moves Jharkhand HC challenging ED summons

Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday filed a petition in the Jharkhand High Court challenging issuance of summons to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case of alleged money laundering, his counsel said.

The Supreme Court on September 18 had refused to entertain Soren’s plea against the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) summons in a case of alleged money laundering. A bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Bela M Trivedi granted Soren the liberty to approach the Jharkhand High Court for relief in the matter.

Soren filed the petition in the high court challenging the issuance of summons to him by the ED, Soren’s counsel Piyush Chitresh said.

The ED had sent a summons to Soren to depose at the federal agency’s office in Ranchi on August 14 and later to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Soren had also skipped the ED’s summons in an alleged defence land scam case citing pre-scheduled events.

The 48-year-old Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader was interrogated for over nine hours by the ED on November 17 last year in connection with another money-laundering case linked to alleged illegal mining in the state.

The central probe agency is investigating more than a dozen land deals, including one related to defence land, wherein a group of mafia, middlemen and bureaucrats allegedly connived to forge deeds and documents of as long back as 1932.

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The ED has arrested several people so far in the state, including Soren’s political aide Pankaj Mishra.

Soren was initially summoned by the ED on November 3, 2022, but he did not appear citing official engagements. He had even dared the central probe agency to arrest him and then sought a three-week deferment of the summons.

While the ruling JMM has alleged that the CM is being made a political victim, the BJP last week said with the “kind of corruption” he has committed in the state, Soren will not get any relief from any court and he will have to eventually face an Enforcement Directorate probe.

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