ED moves SC challenging Jharkhand HC order granting bail to Hemant Soren

The high court had on June 28 granted bail to Soren, who on July 4 took oath as the chief minister of Jharkhand.
Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren.
Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren.File Photo

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday knocked the doors of the Supreme Court challenging the Jharkhand High Court's order granting bail to Chief Minister Hemant Soren in connection with a money laundering case allegedly linked with a land scam.

The high court had on June 28 granted bail to Soren, who on July 4 took oath as the chief minister of Jharkhand.

The Central probe agency, said in its appeal that the HC order granting bail to Soren is "illegal" and that the court erred in saying there is no prima facie evidence against Soren.

Jharkhand HC's Judge, Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay, while granting bail to Soren, had directed him to be released on furnishing bail bonds in the open court.

Soren, the executive president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), was arrested by the ED on January 31 in connection with his alleged involvement in the money laundering case. He claimed innocence in the case and said that he was neither involved in money laundering nor in "any illegal act."

Earlier during the hearing in the high court, ED's counsel had argued that if Soren was released on bail, he might commit a similar offence and referred to cases against ED officers in the SC/ST police station.

"Though the conduct of the petitioner has been sought to be highlighted by the Enforcement Directorate on account of the First Information Report instituted by the petitioner against the officials of the ED, but on an overall conspectus of the case, there is no likelihood of the petitioner committing a similar nature of offence," the high court had said.

The single bench order had also mentioned that the consequence of the findings recorded by the court "satisfies the condition as at section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to the effect that there is reason to believe that the petitioner is not guilty of the offence as alleged".

Soren was summoned multiple times by the ED before being questioned at his residence and subsequently arrested on January 31.

(With inputs from PTI)

Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren.
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