Hemant Soren’s plea against ED summons to be heard on September 18

 The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned to September 18 the hearing on Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s plea against the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) summons in an alleged money laundering case.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi deferred the matter after it was informed that senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi would appear in the matter for Soren.

“I am requesting the matter be heard on Monday. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi is leading us,” a junior counsel said.

The bench agreed to the submission.

Soren has moved the apex court challenging the summons sent to him to depose on August 14 at the federal agency’s office in Ranchi and record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Earlier, Soren had skipped the ED 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.

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.

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