Lawyer linked to PILs against Soren sent to Kolkata Police’s custody

Updated on Aug 02, 2022 02:39 AM IST

A Jharkhand-based lawyer, who was arrested in Kolkata on Sunday for allegedly attempting to extort ₹1 crore from a city-based businessman, was sent to police custody for six days by a city court on Monday.

Lohardaga, July 27 (ANI): Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren at the distribution of cheques among people of five districts (Lohardaga, Gumla, Ranchi, Latehar and Palamu) during a program towards poor villagers for their development and self-employment at BS Stadium, in Lohardaga on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (Sanjib Dutta)
Lohardaga, July 27 (ANI): Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren at the distribution of cheques among people of five districts (Lohardaga, Gumla, Ranchi, Latehar and Palamu) during a program towards poor villagers for their development and self-employment at BS Stadium, in Lohardaga on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (Sanjib Dutta)
By, Kolkata/ranchi

A Jharkhand-based lawyer, who was arrested in Kolkata on Sunday for allegedly attempting to extort 1 crore from a city-based businessman, was sent to police custody for six days by a city court on Monday.

The accused, Rajiv Kumar, is a lawyer in Jharkhand high court and is known for filing public interest litigations (PILs). He is currently representing a petitioner in two PILs against Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren over alleged irregularities in grant of mining lease and transactions of some shell companies allegedly operated by his family members.

Kumar is also the counsel for petitioner Arun Kumar Dubey in the MGNREGA corruption case in Jharkhand’s Khunti district, in which suspended mines secretary Pooja Singhal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in May this year.

The lawyer was arrested from a shopping mall in Kolkata on Sunday, a senior officer in the city police’s detective department said, adding that cash amounting to 50 lakh was seized from him.

Also read: Jharkhand MLA claims he too was asked to meet Assam CM, Sarma says ‘old friends’

“The accused had filed a PIL against Soren in 2021 in Jharkhand high court in which city-based businessman Amit Agarwal was also named. He had allegedly threatened the businessman that he had connections with central agencies and could get his house and office raided,” an officer in Kolkata Police’s detective department said, seeking anonymity.

“Initially, he (accused) had demanded 10 crore from the businessman to withdraw the PIL. After negotiations, he reduced the amount to 4 crore and then finally settled at 1 crore,” the officer added.

After Agarwal, a resident of Salt Lake, lodged a complaint at Hare Street police station on Sunday, efforts were made to nab the accused. The lawyer was caught red-handed accepting the first installment of 50 lakh from the businessman in the parking lot of a mall, the officer said.

Also read: Search on for man who gave money to Jharkhand Congress MLAs: Police

Kumar’s son Abhit, who was also with his father at the time of the arrest, said the lawyer was being falsely implicated in the case.

“We were at a shopping mall. A group of men caught my father soon after one person handed over a packet to him… We are in process of moving Calcutta high court for his bail,” Abhit told HT over phone.

The lawyer has been booked under Prevention of Corruption Act, his counsel Ravi Shankar Chatterjee said.

Meanwhile, lawyers in Jharkhand high court on Monday boycotted work as a mark of support to Kumar. A habeas corpus petition was also filed in the high court, which is expected to be heard by the bench of chief justice on Tuesday.

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