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SC to hear on May 13 Hemant Soren’s plea against arrest in ED case

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Jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren attends the last rites of his uncle under police custody, at Nemara village in Ramgarh district, Monday, May 6, 2024

Jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren during the last rites of his uncle under police custody, at Nemara village in Ramgarh district, Monday, May 6, 2024

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a plea of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader and former chief minister Hemant Soren challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

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A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta will hear the plea of Soren in which he has challenged the May 3 order of the Jharkhand High Court dismissing his petition against the arrest.

Soren had also sought interim bail for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections till the court delivers its verdict on his plea against arrest.

On May 10, the top court had disposed of Soren's plea seeking a direction to the high court to deliver its verdict on his petition challenging his arrest by the ED in a money laundering case.

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The court had observed that the petition of Soren has become infructuous as the high court has delivered its judgement on May 3 and the JMM leader has already challenged the same in the apex court.

"This has become infructuous," the bench had told senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Arunabh Chowdhury, who were appearing for Soren.

In his appeal filed through advocate Praghya Baghel, Soren said that the high court had erred in dismissing his plea against the arrest.

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On May 3, the high court dismissed his plea and denied him bail in the money laundering case.

Soren was arrested on January 31 in the case after he resigned as Jharkhand chief minister, and party loyalist and state transport minister Champai Soren was named as his successor.

Soren is at present lodged in judicial custody at the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. The ED has alleged that "huge amounts of proceeds of crime" were generated by Soren through 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 of rupees.

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