Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren moves Supreme Court challenging ED arrest

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“Hemant Soren was arrested on January 31. We moved the high court on February 4. The high court reserved the judgment on February 28 but did not deliver the judgement. The phase of election starts in the state on the 13th of this month. Very unfortunate that rights are being trampled in this fashion,” court was told today

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has approached the Supreme Court of India challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged land scam case.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned Soren's plea before a CJI DY Chandrachud led bench today seeking an urgent hearing, citing the upcoming elections in Jharkhand from May 13.

Notably, Soren has moved the top court after the Jharkhand High Court denied him relief a few days back after having reserved orders in his plea in February.

Sibal told court today that Soren's rights were being trampled and he should be allowed to campaign for the elections that are to happen on May 13.

On April 29, the Supreme Court had issued notice is another plea by Soren seeking interim bail in the case registered by ED.

In February, the bench comprising Justices Sanjv Khanna, MM Sundresh and Bela M Trivedi had asked Soren to approach the High Court with his petition challenging arrest after refusing any relief to him.

Supreme Court of India had earlier agreed to hear Soren's plea who was arrested on January 31, 2024, by the ED after fresh summons were issued to him a few days back for questioning.

Last year in September, Supreme Court had asked CM Soren to approach the High Court with his petition seeking to quash the two summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

Soren had challenged the summons being ex facie illegal, null and void, and being violative of the object and provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and impinging upon the Fundamental Rights guaranteed to him under Articles 14,19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

He added that the case against him was a clear case of abuse of law by the Central Government and misuse of the Central agencies to destabilize the democratically elected Government of the State of Jharkhand of which he is the Chief Minister. 

"With the General Election approaching soon in next 7-8 months, the political atmosphere in country has been vitiated by the ruling regime and all efforts have been made to threaten, humiliate and intimidate the political leaders, and particularly, when the opposition has united to form INDIA alliance in which Petitioner and his party are vocal participant and integral part of alliance and who are not aligned with the NDA...", the plea added.

Case Title: Hemant Soren vs. ED