Hemant Soren arrest: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president and former Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam on Wednesday.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra agreed to hear the plea of the former Jharkhand chief minister on Friday (February 2).
Senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Soren, told the apex court that the leader will be withdrawing his plea from the Jharkhand High Court on the issue.
Hemant Soren arrest
Former Jharkhand Chief Minister was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on charges of money laundering shortly after he resigned from his position. The arrest came after more than seven hours of questioning related to an alleged land fraud case. Soren is likley be produced before a court today. The probe agency is expected to seek custody of Soren and present the evidence gathered against the de facto JMM chief. During the second round of questioning, the agency posed 15 questions to Soren, who was initially questioned on January 20.
Earlier on Wednesday, Soren lodged an FIR against ED personnel over searches conducted by the agency at his Delhi residence on Monday. In the FIR, Soren alleged the probe agency conducted the search to harass and malign him and his entire community.
‘ED tried to tarnish my image’
Earlier in a recorded video message, the JMM leader said that the fedral agency tried to tarnish his image by conducting raids at his Delhi residence.
Soren also claimed that he was not linked to the money laundering case in which he was arrested. “Most probably ED will arrest me today, but I am not worried as I am Shibu Soren’s son. After a full day of questioning, they decided to arrest me in matters which are not related to me. No evidence has been by them found yet. They also tried to spoil my image by conducting raids at my Delhi residence. We have to fight a new fight now against those who commit atrocities against the poor, Adivasis, Dalit and the innocent,” he said.
About the case
The allegations of money laundering against the JMM leader pertain to the alleged illegal possession of certain immovable assets apart from his purported links with members of the ‘land mafia’. The investigation is linked to a “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia” in Jharkhand, according to the central probe agency.
The ED has so far arrested 14 people in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan who served as the director of the state’s Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi.
The ED is probing the alleged “huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by manipulation of official records by showing dummy sellers and purchasers in the guise of forged/ bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores”.