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Judiciary

Supreme Court Rejects Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren's Plea Against ED Summons in Alleged Illegal Mining Case

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      19 September, 2023 05:49 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Rejects Jharkhand CM Hemant Sorens Plea Against ED Summons in Alleged Illegal Mining Case

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's plea against the Enforcement Directorate's summons issued against him in connection with an alleged illegal mining case.

The top court asked him to approach the Jharkhand High Court, while allowing his counsel's plea for permission to withdraw the petition by treating it as dismissed as withdrawn.

After hearing senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi on behalf of Soren, a bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi asked him, "Why don’t you go to the high court and try….you should (first) go to the high court…we will permit you to withdraw”.

In petition, Soren contended with the general elections approaching soon in next 7-8 months, the political atmosphere in country has been vitiated by the ruling regime.

"All efforts have been made to threaten, humiliate and intimidate the political leaders, and particularly, when the opposition has united to form INDIA alliance in which Petitioner and his party are vocal participant and integral part of alliance and who are not aligned with the NDA,” his plea stated.

He claimed the summons by the ED against him were meant to destabilise an elected democratic government ahead of the general elections.

The Jharkhand CM also said he was unaware of the alleged offence or criminal case in connection with which ED seeks to question him.

“Non-disclosure of the ECIR (that corresponds to FIR) or the remit of investigation of the ED would enable a roving and fishing inquiry, which is impermissible in law," his plea stated.

The impugned summons does not disclose the offence in connection with which evidence is required. This omission vitiates the impugned Summons and renders the same illegal and invalid, he claimed, adding the justification for it wholly baseless and untenable.

He also challenged the constitutional validity of section 50 of PMLA, under which summons is issued and section 63, which arms the ED with vast powers to secure statement or confession of persons during interrogation, use it against them during trial, and even launch criminal proceedings for false information.

Soren assailed the validity of summons issued on August 07, 2023 and August 18, 2023 purportedly issued under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

"Issuance of summons is actuated by malice in fact as false allegation has been hoisted against the petitioner with the sole motive to create political uncertainty and unrest in the State," he claimed. The agency sought to link him with the alleged illegal mining of stone chips in Jharkhand and accordingly summons were issued, his plea stated.
 



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