New Delhi, November 15
The Enforcement Directorate has rejected Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s request to prepone his questioning to November 16 instead of November 17 in a money laundering case linked to alleged illegal mining in the state, sources said on Tuesday.
The federal agency cited some investigation-related issues and its preparedness while declining Soren’s request, and said that the Chief Minister will have to depose before the investigation officer at its Ranchi-based regional office on November 17 which it fixed in its previous summons to the leader, a source, privy to the investigation told ANI.
Jharkhand CM Soren, 47, had earlier written to the ED requesting it to prepone his questioning in the case on November 16 instead of November 17 due to some political and other official engagements after the agency issued the second summon against him.
The Jharkhand Chief Minister was initially summoned by the federal probe agency on November 3 but he did not depose citing official engagements. Soren had then sought a three-week deferment of the summons.
The ED wants to record Soren’s statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED has arrested Soren’s political aide Pankaj Mishra and two others local musclemen Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash in this case.
The agency has said it has “identified” proceeds of crime relating to illegal mining in the state to the tune of more than Rs 1,000 crore till now.