SC issues notice to ED on ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s plea

New Delhi (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on a plea filed by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren challenging his arrest in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

Agreeing to examine Soren’s latest Special Leave Petition challenging the dismissal of his writ petition by the Jharkhand High Court, a Bench presided over by Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked the anti-money laundering agency to file its reply in the matter by May 17.

However, the Bench, also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, refused to pass any directions on the prayer for interim relief.

Last week, the top court disposed of a separate plea filed by Soren seeking his release in view of the elections.

It said that the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader’s prayer has become infructuous in view of the May 3 order passed by the Jharkhand High Court dismissing his plea against arrest.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the ED on Soren’s plea seeking interim bail on the grounds of delay in delivery of judgment by the Jharkhand High Court, despite reserving an order on his petition challenging the ED arrest in the last week of February.

After the top court issued the notice, the Jharkhand High Court pronounced its decision and dismissed Soren’s plea, saying that “there is an abundance of documents that lay a foundation for the arrest and remand of the petitioner to police and judicial custody.”

Hemant Soren resigned from the chief minister's post on January 31, after the ED informed him that it was arresting him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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