Millennium Post (Kolkata)

SC to hear Hemant Soren’s plea against HC order on April 1


The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on April 1 former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren’s plea challengin­g a high court decision that refused to grant him permission to attend the Assembly session.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanatha­n will hear the plea of Soren, who was arrested by the Enforcemen­t Directorat­e (ED) on January 31 in a money laundering case.

Soren had sought permission from the Jharkhand High Court to attend the Budget session of the Assembly that started on February 23 and came to an end on March 2. On February 28, the high court dismissed his plea.

Previously, a special court in Ranchi on February 22 had denied Soren permission to participat­e in the Assembly session.

The high court had earlier allowed Soren, the ruling JMM’s executive president, to participat­e in the trust vote in the Assembly on February 5.

Soren is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail under judicial custody.

The allegation­s of money laundering against the JMM leader pertain to the alleged illegal possession of certain immovable assets and his purported links with members of the ‘land mafia’. The investigat­ion is linked to a “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia” in Jharkhand, according to the central probe agency.

The ED has so far arrested several people in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan, who served as the director of the state’s Social Welfare Department and deputy commission­er of Ranchi.

The agency is probing the alleged “huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by 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”.

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