Land scam case: Jharkhand HC grants bail to ex-CM Hemant Soren

Ranchi (IANS) The Jharkhand High Court on Friday granted bail to former Chief Minister Hemant Soren in the land scam case.

On June 13, Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay reserved the decision on Soren’s bail plea.

Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31 in connection with money laundering linked to the land scam. He was lodged at Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi since then.

During the hearing, Soren’s counsel, Kapil Sibal and Meenakshi Arora, argued that the land in question was “bhuinhari”, under the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, and could not be sold or transferred to anyone.

They also claimed that Soren had no connection with the land and that the ED had no evidence to prove his involvement in the scam.

On the other hand, Assistant Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the ED, argued that there was sufficient evidence to prove that Soren had illegally occupied 8.86 acres of land in Bariatu and had plans to build a banquet hall on it.

Assistant Solicitor General Raju also alleged that Soren had misused his position to influence the investigation and might try to disrupt it further if granted bail.

The court, however, accepted Soren’s bail plea, providing relief to the former CM after over five months in judicial custody.

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