Jharkhand news: The special PMLA Court in Ranchi has permitted former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren to participate in the Floor Test on February 5 (Monday).
The officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) brought Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief and former CM Hemant Soren to the ED office from the Birsa Munda jail for questioning today (February 3). Hemant Soren was sent to five-day custody of the Enforcement Directorate by the High Court on Friday in connection with an alleged land scam case.
Hemant Soren questioning:
The JMM chief was arrested by the ED after several summons in the alleged land scam case and several hours of questioning on Wednesday night.Meanwhile, amidst the political unrest in Jharkhand, Champai Soren took oath as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand on Friday at the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi.
Alongside Soren, Congress’ Alamgir Alam and RJD’s Satyanand Bhokta also took the oath as ministers in the Jharkhand cabinet.Earlier, the ED said it had recovered cash worth in excess of Rs 36 lakh from the possession of the JMM chief, along with documents linked to the ongoing investigation into the alleged acquisition of land by ‘fraudulent means’.
The agency added that land parcels spanning 8.5 acres were part of the criminal proceeds that the former CM allegedly acquired. ED stated that in a raid conducted on April 13, 2023, they unearthed several property-related records and registers that were in the possession of Revenue Sub-Inspector Bhanu Pratap Prasad.
It informed further that the probe further revealed that Bhanu Pratap Prasad and others are part of a “very large syndicate involved in corrupt practices of acquiring properties forcefully as well as on the basis of false deeds.
“Considering the facts and circumstances and taking into consideration the activities and processes of money laundering in which Soren is directly involved and is also a party with the said Bhanu Pratap and others, there are sufficient reasons to believe that Soren is guilty of the offence of money laundering as per section 3 of PMLA 2002,” the agency stated.
The former CM on Friday moved the Supreme Court against his arrest, but the court refused to entertain his plea, challenging his arrest by the ED in the land deal case and asking him to approach the concerned High Court with his petition.
“We are not inclined to entertain the present petition,” adding that it left open to petitioner to approach the jurisdictional HC. The top court also said that it is open for the petitioner to urge the high court to expeditiously decide the case,” the court stated.
Soren challenged the ED’s summons dated January 22, 2024, and January 25, 2024, purportedly issued under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, as illegal, null, and void, and accordingly quash the impugned summons and all steps taken and proceedings emanating therefrom. The JMM chief claimed that he has been facing constant harassment at the hands of the ED, alleging that the probe agency was misusing its authority and powers at the bidding of its political masters.
The probe pertains to proceeds of crime generated by allegedly forging official records by showing ‘fake sellers’ and purchasers in the guise of forged or bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores.