SC slams Hemant Soren for suppressing facts, JMM leader withdraws plea against arrest

12:54 PM May 22, 2024 | PTI |



The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren for “suppressing facts” regarding filing of regular bail plea in trial court in a money laundering case, prompting the JMM leader to withdraw his petition challenging arrest by the Enforcement Directorate.

A vacation bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma allowed Soren’s counsel Kapil Sibal to withdraw his plea after warning that if the court goes into the details of the case it will be “damaging” for the former chief minister.

“Your conduct tells a lot. We expected your client to come up with candour but you suppressed material facts,” the bench told Sibal. “Your conduct is not without blemish,” the bench told Sibal, after he tried to defend Soren saying he is in custody and does not have any knowledge about the petitions being filed in courts.

“He is not a layman,” the bench observed and said it will dismiss his plea against arrest without going into the merit of the case. Sibal then agreed to withdraw the plea, which was allowed by the bench.


The ED had earlier told the apex court that Soren’s arrest on January 31 has been upheld by the Jharkhand High Court and his regular bail application was dismissed by the trial court on May 13.

On May 13, Soren referred to the top court’s order granting interim bail to Kejriwal in the money laundering case against him linked to the alleged Delhi excise scam and sought identical relief for himself.

In his appeal filed through advocate Praghya Baghel, the JMM leader said the high court had erred in dismissing his plea.

The ED has alleged that “huge amounts of proceeds of crime” were generated by Soren through 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 of rupees.

The probe against Soren pertains to an 8.86-acre plot of land in Ranchi that the ED has alleged was illegally acquired by him.

Soren is currently lodged in judicial custody in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail.


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