Monday, October 2, 2023

Illegal mining case: Supreme Court tells Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren to approach High Court against ED summons

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The Supreme Court on Monday directed Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren to first approach the Jharkhand High Court regarding the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Jharkhand Chief Minister had moved the Apex Court on Sunday against the national agency, which asked him to appear before it on September 23 in connection with alleged illegal mining in Sahibganj district of Chhattisgarh.

The petition filed by Soren alleged that the Union government was using the federal agency to ‘target’ opposition leaders, who were not towing the lines of the government.

It further contended that this selective ‘targeting’ was also being done in view of the general elections 2024 and due to the formation of the opposition alliance INDIA against the ruling NDA.

As per the plea, the repeated summoning under the garb of investigation under PMLA of properties owned, possessed and occupied by the petitioner and the source of its acquisition, the information and material of which was already in the possession of ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was nothing but a ruse to harass, browbeat and intimidate at the behest of the Central Government and a complete misuse of the powers by the ED.

ED had asked Soren in August to join its investigation in the case. 

The Jharkhand Chief Minister responded by writing a letter to the central agency, saying that he has provided all necessary documents and information. He added that If ED wanted any information, it could refer to the documents.

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