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SC issues notice to ED on former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren's plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) issued a notice to the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Monday regarding former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren's plea challenging his arrest in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land deal.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta listed the matter for further hearing on May 17.
Appearing for Hemant Soren, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal tried to convince the court for an early date. Hemant Soren has sought interim bail on the grounds of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
Recently, the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case.
When the top court said that it is going to list the matter next week, senior advocate Kapil Sibal for Soren urged the court to hear it this week due to ongoing elections. He stressed that no purpose will be served if interim bail will be heard next week as elections in various Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand will be concluded.
When the hearing began, the court asked Sibal whether Soren owns the land. The senior advocate replied that it had nothing to do with the land. Soren's advocate also apprised the court about the matter being heard by the Jharkhand High Court in February and the decision was given in May.
Earlier, Jharkhand HC rejected Soren's plea challenging arrest in a money laundering case on May 3. Challenging the order Soren moved the top court last week.
On Friday (May 10), the SC disposed of Hemant Soren's earlier plea over the High Court's delay in pronouncing the order on his (Hemant Soren) plea challenging arrest as it noted that the petition has become infructuous because the order has been delivered. The SC noted that recently Jharkhand HC delivered an order on JMM leader Soren's plea and rejected his petition challenging arrest in a money laundering case.
In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court said that the Jharkhand High Court may pronounce the order in Soren's plea challenging his arrest in a money laundering case.
Jharkhand High Court had reserved its order on Soren's plea on February 28. Aggrieved by the HC for not deciding his plea, Soren moved the SC against it and in the meantime sought interim bail in the matter.
Soren, in his plea before the High Court, claimed that his arrest was unwarranted and his remand in the matter was arbitrary and illegal. Soren in his petition through advocate Pragya Baghel, called his arrest 'illegal and malafide.'
Hemant Soren was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on January 31, in connection with an alleged land scam in Jharkhand.
The probe pertains to huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by forging official records by showing 'fake sellers' and purchasers in the guise of forged or bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land valued in crores of rupees.

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