Supreme Court dispose Soren’s plea seeking interim bail in land scam case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Supreme Court dispose Soren’s plea seeking interim bail in land scam case

May 11, 2024 03:19 AM IST

The court, on April 29, issued a notice to ED on Soren’s petition seeking interim bail in a money laundering case lodged by the agency.

New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday closed proceedings in a petition filed by former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, who sought interim bail on the grounds that there was a prolonged delay by the Jharkhand high court in deciding his appeal against his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) arrest in January. The apex court noted that the high court has already rendered a decision on May 3 rejecting Soren’s challenge to his arrest.

The court, on April 29, issued a notice to ED on Soren’s petition seeking interim bail in a money laundering case lodged by the agency in connection with an alleged land scam in Jharkhand. (PTI)
The court, on April 29, issued a notice to ED on Soren’s petition seeking interim bail in a money laundering case lodged by the agency in connection with an alleged land scam in Jharkhand. (PTI)

A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta pointed out that following the high court’s decision to dismiss his petition last week, Soren filed an appeal which was likely to be taken up by the Supreme Court next week.

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Also Read | Ex-Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren moves Supreme Court against arrest

While senior counsel Kapil Sibal, representing Soren, pressed that the present petition be taken up along with the appeal against the high court order, the court said that it would rather draw the curtain on this plea while allowing Soren to present all his contentions in his appeal against the high court’s rejection order.

The bench assured Sibal that he will have a full opportunity to argue his case, including any arguments regarding the legality of his arrest and the subsequent proceedings, when the appeal is taken up at a future date.

The court, on April 29, issued a notice to ED on Soren’s petition seeking interim bail in a money laundering case lodged by the agency in connection with an alleged land scam in Jharkhand. In his plea, Soren also cited the ongoing general elections while pointing out the high court had failed to deliver its order on his challenge to the ED arrest despite reserving its judgment on February 28.

But three days later, the high court dismissed Soren’s plea, noting that he “cannot wriggle out of the mess” he “created for himself”, adding there is an abundance of documents that lay a foundation for the arrest and remand of the petitioner to police and judicial custody.

A day later, Soren filed an appeal against the May 3 high court order in the apex court, amid the approaching elections phase in the state on May 13. Sibal also mentioned the matter before Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud on May 6, requesting an expedited consideration of Soren’s appeal. Sibal emphasised the urgency of the matter in light of the imminent election phase in Jharkhand.

Soren’s appeal against the high court order is expected to be heard by the top court on May 13.

The alleged scam pertains to usurping prime landed parcels, including a 4.55 acre defence land at Morabadi Mouza at Ranchi, and a land parcel of 7.6 acres at Hehal, Ranchi – both valued at over 74 crore at the current market price, besides several other land parcels – by the accused persons by making fake deeds using manufactured identities and falsifying original land records at Circle Offices and Registrar of Assurances (RoA), Kolkata and Circle Offices in Jharkhand, according to the ED charge sheet. Overall, ED has recovered documents related to at least 27 properties of which alleged fake deeds were created by the accused people.

Soren’s arrest happened minutes after he resigned as chief minister of the state.

ED has claimed that it has evidence that the JMM leader is the key beneficiary in alleged land-related irregularities in Ranchi, where a network of brokers and businessmen were allegedly working over the years to create fake deeds of landed parcels by forging records in the registrar offices and further selling them off. He has denied the charges.

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