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April 22, 2024 2:59 pm

Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren withdraws from Supreme Court his plea against high court order

New Delhi, April 1

Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren on Monday withdrew from the Supreme Court his plea challenging a high court order that refused to grant him permission to attend the Assembly’s Budget session.

Soren had sought permission from the Jharkhand High Court to attend the Budget session that started on February 23 and came to an end on March 2. On February 28, the high court had dismissed his plea.

When his plea came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan on Monday, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Soren, said he be allowed to withdraw the plea as the Budget session came to an end on March 2. “I wish to withdraw this,” Sibal said, adding the question of law raised in the plea may be kept open.

The apex court allowed him to withdraw the plea, and said the question of law is left open.

Soren was arrested by ED on January 31 in connection with a money laundering case. He is presently under judicial custody.

A special court in Ranchi had on February 22 denied Soren permission to participate in the Assembly session.

The high court had earlier allowed Soren, the ruling JMM’s executive president, to participate in the trust vote in the Assembly on February 5.

The allegations of money laundering against the JMM leader pertain to the alleged illegal possession of certain immovable assets and his purported links with members of the ‘land mafia’.

The investigation is linked to a “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia” in Jharkhand, according to the central probe agency.

ED has so far arrested several people in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan, who served as the director of the state’s Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi.

The agency is probing the alleged “huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by manipulation of official records by showing dummy sellers and purchasers in the guise of forged/bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores”.

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