Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren sent to 5-day ED custody

Ranchi: Former Jharkhand Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha party (JMM) executive president Hemant Soren was sent to 5-day Directorate of Enforcement (ED) custody on Friday.

Soren was arrested on January 31 by the ED in connection with a money laundering case related to the “illegal” possession of extensive land parcels and his alleged involvement with the “land mafia.” Following his arrest, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Ranchi remanded him to one-day judicial custody on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court declined to intervene in the arrest of an individual by the ED in connection with a money laundering case. The court directed the individual, represented by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi, to approach the high court for any relief. The special bench comprised Justices Sanjiv Khanna, MM Sundresh, and Bela M Trivedi.

Sibal said, “In these kinds of cases, this court needs to send a message. Here, we are dealing with a chief minister, who has been arrested. Please see the evidence. This is not fair”

Soren said in the petition that he was arrested at the Raj Bhavan, where he had gone to submit his resignation as the chief minister, accompanied by JMM MLAs and those from allied parties who collectively hold a clear majority in the state assembly.

“The arrest of the petitioner around 10.10 PM on January 31, 2024 is illegal and malafide and without jurisdiction,” it claimed.

The petition argued that Soren’s arrest had infringed upon his freedom, asserting that the officers of the ED had misused their authority for external motives, influenced by the directives of the Central government.

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