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SC seeks ED's reply by May 17 on Hemant Soren's plea against his arrest

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Hemant Soren Enforcement Directorate

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Enforcement Directorate's response by May 17 on a plea of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader and former chief minister Hemant Soren, challenging his arrest in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

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A bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta, which was initially listing the matter on May 20, had to change the date to May 17 after senior advocate Kapil Sibal said polls would be over by then and he would be prejudiced if the long date is given in the matter.

"My case is covered by Arvind Kejriwal's order and I need bail for election campaigning," Sibal told the bench.

The bench said this week it is too much work and a lot of matters are listed.

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It expressed unwillingness to change the date from May 20 but after Sibal and senior advocate Arunabh Chowdhury, appearing for Soren persisted with the request, the date was changed to May 17.

"We don’t know whether we will be able to take up the matter but still we are posting it for May 17," the bench said.

Soren, in his plea, challenged the May 3 order of the Jharkhand High Court dismissing his petition against the arrest. He had also sought interim bail for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections till the court delivered its verdict on his plea against arrest.

Kejriwal was on May 10 granted interim bail by the top court for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls. He was arrested in a money laundering case related to an alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

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