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Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren to appear before ECI today in mining lease case

New Delhi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren will appear before the Election Commission of India in person or through counsel on Tuesday in the office of profit matter which pertains to owning of stone mining lease.
On June 14, ECI granted him the last extension and fixed June 28 for a personal hearing.

The matter pertains to the allotment of the stone mine lease in his favour in the Angara block of Ranchi.
The poll panel had issued notice to Soren asking him to explain why action should not be taken against him for having a mining lease issued in his favour which "prima facie violates" provisions concerning the Representation of People's Act.

The ECI had asked him to reply by May 10. However, the Chief Minister had on May 9 sought a four-week extension of time from the Election Commission on the grounds that his mother was unwell and undergoing treatment.

Earlier in a letter addressed to secretary ECI, Soren had denied all the charges against him.
"At the outset, I deny and dispute all allegations of the BJP about my alleged disqualification for being a member of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly on the ground of a mining lease, obtained by me in May 2021, under the said section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, or any other ground whatsoever."

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court last month directed Jharkhand High Court to decide on the maintainability of the public interest litigations seeking enquiry against Soren and others in relation to the grant of mining leases.

Enforcement Directorate (ED), through affidavit, had earlier submitted before Jharkhand High Court that during the course of the investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the secretary of the mining department Pooja Singhal had a role in the allotment of the mining lease to respondent number seven who happens to be Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

Notably, Chief Minister Hemant Soren is respondent number 7 in the said Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Shiv Shankar Sharma seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against Soren for getting a stone mining lease allotted in his name, completely misusing his official position.

ED has also informed that role of some companies has also emerged. These companies are spread over the jurisdiction beyond the state of Jharkhand.

The Jharkhand High Court is hearing various petitions pertaining to shell companies, the mining lease of Chief Minister Hemant Soren and the MGNREGA scam. (ANI)

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