ED moves SC challenging bail to Hemant Soren

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Jharkhand High Court order granting bail to JMM leader Hemant Soren in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

The high court had on June 28 granted bail to Soren, who on July 4 took oath as the chief minister of Jharkhand.

Soren, the executive president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), had resigned as chief minister shortly before the ED arrested him on January 31 in the case.

Earlier during the hearing in the high court, ED`s counsel had argued that if Soren was released on bail, he might commit a similar offence and referred to cases against ED officers in the SC/ST police station.

“Though the conduct of the petitioner has been sought to be highlighted by the Enforcement Directorate on account of the First Information Report instituted by the petitioner against the officials of the ED, but on an overall conspectus of the case, there is no likelihood of the petitioner committing a similar nature of offence,” the high court had said.

The single bench order had also mentioned that the consequence of the findings recorded by the court “satisfies the condition as at section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to the effect that there is reason to believe that the petitioner is not guilty of the offence as alleged”.

Hemant Soren`s lawyer had argued strongly for his bail, contending that he was falsely implicated in a criminal case by the central agency.

The ED, opposing Soren`s bail plea, had alleged that he misused his position as the chief minister to “unlawfully” acquire 8.86 acres in the Bargain area in the state capital.

The agency had claimed that during the probe, Soren`s media consultant Abhishek Prasad admitted that the JMM leader instructed him to manipulate official records to change the ownership details of the plot.

The ED had also claimed that the original owner of the land, Raj Kumar Pahan, had tried to lodge a complaint when his land was being usurped but it was never acted upon.

Soren had been summoned multiple times by the ED before he was questioned at his residence and subsequently arrested on January 31. 

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