Jharkhand HC reserves order on maintainability of PIL seeking probe against CM Hemant Soren

Shiv Shankar Sharma in his petition has said that CM Hemant Soren while holding the portfolio of the mines department of the state has issued a mining lease for stones in his name.

Published: 02nd June 2022 12:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2022 12:24 AM   |  A+A-

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren (Photo | PTI)


RANCHI: The High Court of Jharkhand on Wednesday reserved its order on the point of maintainability of the public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a probe against Chief Minister Hemant Soren for alleged irregularities in the grant of mining leases and also on transactions of some shell companies purportedly operated by his family members.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dr.Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad concluded the hearing of the PIL filed by Shiv Shankar Sharma and will deliver the order on June 3.

The high court in compliance with the Supreme Court directive of May 24 will decide the issue as to whether the public interest litigation is maintainable or not before entering into the merits of the petition.

The apex court had heard the matter on May 24 and directed Jharkhand HC to first hear preliminary objections on the maintainability of the petition .

The state government had moved the Supreme Court challenging the maintainability of the petition which was being heard by the High Court of Jharkhand.

Arguing on behalf of the state, former Union minister Kapil Sibal said that the petition filed by Shiv Shankar Sharma is contrary to the provisions of the Jharkhand High Court Rules.

The Rules provide that in public interest litigation, the details of the petitioner and his credibility needs to be mentioned, which has not been complied with in the case filed by Sharma.

Sharma's counsel Rajeev Kumar defended the stand of the petitioner and said that all rules have been followed in filing the petition and the government is merely trying to stall the hearing of the case.

Sharma in his petition has said that Chief Minister Hemant Soren while holding the portfolio of the mines department of the state has issued a mining lease for stones in his name.

The mining lease was issued in June 2021 over 88 decimals of land in Angarha block in Ranchi.

He has also alleged that Soren and his acquaintances are involved in the racket of running shell companies.

A nexus has been drawn by Sharma's counsel with the recent raids on the premises and properties of suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal who was the mines department secretary while Soren himself handled the portfolio of the mines department.

Earlier a vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi of the Supreme Court had noted that the high court had in its order of May 13 said it would first decide the maintainability of the PIL and then go into the merit of the allegations levelled in the petition.

The top court also made it clear that it has not made any observation about the merit of the case and has not dealt with the allegations made in the petition.

India Matters


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