Hemant Soren acutely non-cooperative in probe, claims ED
Heman Soren was "reluctant" to divulge information about the land allegedly acquired by him, claims ED.
Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren is showing "acute non-cooperation" in the money laundering investigation being conducted against him and others, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged on Monday. The law enforcement agency said Soren was "reluctant" to divulge information about land allegedly acquired by him. Soren was arrested by the ED on January 31.
Soren's remand extended
Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court has extended Soren's remand to the ED for three more days. ED told the court that a WhatsApp chat between Soren and his alleged close associate Binod Singh showed details of a banquet hall. The hall was proposed to be built on 8.5 acre land in the Baragai area of Ranchi and the ED alleges it to be an immovable asset "illegally acquired and possessed" by Soren.
"The accused person Shri Hemant Soren has been showing acute non-cooperation and is reluctant to divulge true facts regarding the properties acquired by him and other persons connected to him," the ED said in its paper seeking four-day remand of Soren.
"The accused person (Soren) has been refusing to even sign and acknowledge the WhatsApp chats in order to conceal the information about the properties,"said ED.
ED gave details about its investigation pertaining to the 8.5 acres of land illegally acquired and possessed by Soren. It informed the court that its officials conducted a survey on February 10 in the presence of the officials of the Baragai circle, Binod Singh, Bhanu Pratap Prasad (arrested revenue sub-inspector in this case). In the probe, ED corroborated that the locality of the banquet as per the plan shared by Binod Singh (with Soren on WhatsApp) and the area of 8.5 acres of land acquired by Soren are the same.
"Scrutiny of the WhatsApp chats between Binod Singh and Shri Hemant Soren has led to the identification of a plan/map of proposed banquet shared by Binod Singh to Shri Hemant Soren on 06.04.2021," said ED.
"The location of the proposed banquet mentioned on the said plan matches with the said 8.5 acres of land which is illegally acquired and possessed by Shri Hemant Soren," it claimed.
ED claimed that there is no such big parcel of land available in the said locality where such a large structure can be planned for construction.
Jharkhand HC adjourns hearing on Soren's plea
On Monday, the Jharkhand high court adjourned hearing on a writ petition filed by Soren challenging his arrest and ED remand, till February 27.
With PTI inputs
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