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Ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren moves SC, says HC not pronouncing verdict on his plea against arrest

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta was told by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Soren, that the high court had reserved its verdict on February 28 on his plea but still no decision has been delivered.
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 06:06 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 06:06 IST

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New Delhi: Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court, saying the high court is not pronouncing verdict on his plea challenging arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta was told by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Soren, that the high court had reserved its verdict on February 28 on his plea but still no decision has been delivered.

Sibal said they had approached the top court against his arrest on February 2 but the bench had asked them to move the high court for relief.

"We have moved the Article 32 petition in the Hemant Soren matter. Your lordship said go to the high court. We went to the high court on February 4 and then the matter was finally heard on February 27-28. Now, the judgement has not been rendered in the plea till date," he said.

The senior lawyer said, "We again went to the high court and said we cannot move forward or backward unless the judgement is rendered. The judge said nothing. Now, the man will be inside and the elections will be over. Then where do we go?"

Justice Khanna asked whether a petition has been filed and if filed, then he can move an email to the secretariat of chief justice of India for listing.

Sibal said, "If we say something, then they will say, we are attacking the judiciary" and sought listing of the petition on Friday.

Justice Khanna said he cannot say anything on the listing of the petition and the Chief Justice of India secretariat will give the date for listing of the plea.

"Just give the details, it will be done. Today or tomorrow, you will get the date for listing of the matter," the bench said.

Sibal submitted that on their plea this court will direct the high court to pronounce the verdict and then the judgement will be rendered.

"After the judgement, we will come here. Then four weeks' time will be given. This is very sad," Sibal said.

Justice Khanna told the senior lawyer that he is pronouncing the order of the apex court.

"There is a procedure prescribed and you will have to go through it. We will deal with the aspect of the high court not pronouncing the verdict, when the matter will come up," the bench said.

Soren, in his plea filed through advocate Pragya Baghel, said there has been a pattern that has emerged which is reflected in the actions of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for prosecuting and targeting individuals especially political leaders belonging to the opposition on the basis of "cooked-up allegations".

"Knowing that the elections are around the corner and with a malafide intent of paralysing the leaders of opposition political parties, of which Hemant Soren being the leader of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) was arrested on January 31, 2024," his plea said.

Soren was arrested on January 31 in the case after he resigned as the Jharkhand chief minister, and party loyalist and state transport minister Champai Soren was named as his successor.

He was arrested after being grilled by the ED for seven hours in the case.

The ED 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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Published 24 April 2024, 06:06 IST

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