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Judiciary

SC refuses to entertain Soren's plea against arrest; asks him to approach HC

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      02 February, 2024 03:55 PM      0 Comments
SC refuses to entertain Soren's plea against arrest; asks him to approach HC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to consider a plea by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren against his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case in connection with a land scam.

A special bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, M M Sundresh and Bela M Trivedi asked the JMM leader to approach the Jharkhand High Court for bail as courts are open for everybody.

The court also pointed out a petition has been filed in the High Court which can be considered.

At the start, the bench asked senior advocate Kapil Sibal for Soren, "Why should you not go to the High Court? Courts are open for everybody. Secondly, High Courts are also constitutional courts. If we permit one person, then we have to permit everybody."

Senior advocate A M Singhvi also for the petitioner contended the Supreme Court has got concurrent jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Sibal said this court can always exercise its discretion.

As the court declined the plea, Sibal asked to fix a time frame for hearing the matter by the High Court.

"We are not going to control the High Court," the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju for the Enforcement Directorate contended a special bench has been formed to hear the instant matter. A common man would never get such a benefit, he said.

Sibal said they tried to topple Soren's government.

He sought permission to show what is the case all about.

The bench, however, said “There is an earlier of this court which says you must go to the high court”.

Sibal questioned the arrest.

“Please go to the high court, we will not entertain it….taken a consistent view. I have been doing it and my brother and sister has also followed," Justice Khanna, leading the bench said.

Singhvi stressed that there was no necessity to arrest. However, the court remained unmoved.

In his plea, Soren asked the court to declare his arrest as unwarranted, arbitrary, and in violation of his fundamental rights.

The plea said ED officers have abused their powers for extraneous considerations under the dictates of the central government as the petitioner is the leader of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, a prominent opposition party and an active constituent of the INDIA alliance.

He claimed his arrest is a part of a well-orchestrated conspiracy which has been given shape at the anvil of the general elections slated in a few months.

On Thursday, senior advocates Sibal and Singhvi mentioned the matter before a bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra on behalf of Soren and sought urgent hearing.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the ED contended a similar petition has been filed in the Jharkhand High Court.

Sibal, however, said the petition from the High Court would be withdrawn.

The counsel for Soren contended this was a very serious matter, as the Chief Minister was arrested just months before the general elections which would have an adverse effect on the polity of the country.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju also for the ED said there were serious charges against the petitioner.

Soren's counsel claimed he was arrested at 5 pm on Wednesday, though the arrest memo said it was done at 10 pm.

The bench said it would consider the matter on Friday.
 



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