SC seeks ED's reply on Hemant Soren's plea for interim bail for campaigning in Lok Sabha polls

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing in the court on behalf of Soren, said if granted interim bail, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader will surrender on June 2.
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 17 May 2024, 10:39 IST
Last Updated : 17 May 2024, 10:39 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Enforcement Directorate to file its reply on a plea by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren for interim bail to campaign during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta told the ED to file its reply on Monday and fixed Soren's plea for consideration on Tuesday.

Appearing for the ED, Additional solicitor general S V Raju submitted that they have strong evidence to connect Soren with the patch of land in contention. 

He also contended the petitioner's regular bail was also rejected. 

On behalf of Soren, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that the land in question was never in his client’s possession.

He asked the court to grant him interim bail to campaign during the remaining phases of the general elections.

With regard to a plea for interim bail for Soren, Raju said that he was arrested long ago and four phases of elections are already over.

The bench told Sibal that the court will have to be prima satisfied with his submission and the matter would require to be heard.

The court fixed the matter for consideration on May 21.

Soren was arrested by the ED on January 31. On May 3, the Jharkhand High Court dismissed Soren's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate.

The High Court, in its order, had said Soren can't wriggle out the mess he created for himself by raising a bogey of political vendetta.

Soren was being investigated for money laundering charges in connection with an illegal mining case, as well as an alleged land scam in Ranchi.

The Enforcement Directorate, investigating both cases, claimed that approximately Rs 8.5 acres of property in question constituted proceeds of crime.

Published 17 May 2024, 10:39 IST

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