Ranchi, Feb 12 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate on Monday alleged that former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren was showing "acute non-cooperation" in the money laundering investigation being conducted against him and others.
The central agency said that Soren was "reluctant" to divulge information about the lands allegedly acquired by him.
The central agency produced the 48-year-old JMM leader before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court of Judge Rajiv Ranjan which extended his remand to the ED for three more days.
Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31 after he resigned as the chief minister.
The agency told the court that a WhatsApp chat between the politician and his alleged "close associate" Binod Singh showed details of a banquet hall that was proposed to be built on a 8.5 acre land in the Baragai area of Ranchi which the ED alleges is an immovable asset "illegally acquired and possessed" by Soren.
"The accused person Shri Hemant Soren has been showing acute non-cooperation and is reluctant to divulge true facts regarding the properties acquired by him and other persons connected to him," the ED said in its paper seeking four-day remand of Soren.
The agency said that the former chief minister was being confronted with his WhatsApp Chats with Binod Singh and these contain exchange of information relating to immovable properties.
"The accused person (Soren) has been refusing to even sign and acknowledge the WhatsApp chats in order to conceal the information about the properties," it said.
Soren, the agency alleged, has been "refusing" to even sign and acknowledge the WhatsApp chats in order to "conceal" the information about the properties.
"Scrutiny of the WhatsApp chats between Binod Singh and Shri Hemant Soren has led to the identification of a plan/map of proposed banquet shared by Binod Singh to Shri Hemant Soren on 06.04.2021." "The location of the proposed banquet mentioned on the said plan matches with the said 8.5 acres of land which is illegally acquired and possessed by Shri Hemant Soren," it claimed.
It was informed to the court by the ED that its officials conducted a survey on February 10 in the presence of the officials of the Baragai circle, Binod Singh, Bhanu Pratap Prasad (arrested revenue sub-inspector in this case) and it was "corroborated" that the locality of the banquet as per the plan shared by Binod Singh (with Soren on WhatsApp) and the area of 8.5 acres of land acquired by Soren are the same.
There is no such big parcel of land available in the said locality where such large structure can be planned for construction, the ED claimed.
The ED has earlier alleged that after it began its investigation, the said parcel of land was restored to a man identified as Raj Kumar Pahan.
Soren, the ED said, was "not cooperating" and was not ready to divulge information relating to the properties associated with him and hence pleaded for his extended custody.
The agency said that the searches were undertaken in the case on February 7 and "fresh incriminating evidences have surfaced". PTI NES AS AS