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Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren Granted 5-Day ED Remand by PMLA Court in Ranchi

IndiaFormer Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren Granted 5-Day ED Remand by PMLA Court in Ranchi

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was granted a five-day Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand on Friday by a special PMLA court in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land fraud, according to reports from PTI.

Soren was arrested on Wednesday night after a seven-hour interrogation by the ED in relation to the money laundering case. Prior to his arrest, he had resigned as the chief minister.

The special PMLA court had initially sent the JMM (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) leader to judicial custody for a day on Thursday.

In a setback for Hemant Soren on Friday, the Supreme Court declined to intervene in his arrest by the ED in the money laundering case. The court instructed Soren to approach the high court for any relief.

During the proceedings, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi, representing Soren, argued that the high court should not be the sole avenue for relief, emphasizing the need for the Supreme Court’s intervention due to the significance of the case involving a former chief minister.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna, part of the special bench, pointed out that the high courts are constitutional courts and that the petitioner should follow the established legal process. Despite the plea for indulgence, the bench maintained that Soren should seek relief from the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The bench informed Soren’s legal team that a writ petition had already been filed before the Jharkhand High Court, which was still pending. It suggested that Soren could request an expeditious listing and disposal of the case before the high court.

Sibal, seeking a time-frame for the high court proceedings, was told by Justice Khanna that the Supreme Court would not interfere with the high court’s functioning.

The Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the ED, highlighted the special treatment given to Soren, while Sibal claimed a conspiracy to destabilize the government.

Soren had also approached the high court on Wednesday challenging the ED’s summons and subsequent actions. However, the high court had declined immediate relief and asked for the petition to be served to the ED.

In his plea before the Supreme Court, Soren accused the ED of arresting him as part of a “well-orchestrated conspiracy” by the Centre ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He urged the court to declare his arrest as unwarranted, arbitrary, and in violation of his fundamental rights.

Soren was arrested on January 31 in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged illegal possession of extensive land and association with the “land mafia.” The plea claims that his arrest was illegal, malafide, and without jurisdiction, curbing his liberty under the influence of the central government.

The petition alleges that the ED’s actions were initiated to destabilize his democratically elected government, asserting that the ruling alliance had a majority in the state assembly and had elected a new chief minister following Soren’s resignation.

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