ANI Photo | CM Hemant Soren files writ petition in Jharkhand HC against ED summons

Chief Minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren filed a writ petition in the Jharkhand High Court challenging the summons issued against him in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). ED had asked him to appear before the agency’s zonal office at Ranchi on September 23, by issuing the fourth summon.
Soren moved the state High Court after his petition to the Supreme Court was rejected and he was directed by the apex court on Monday to approach the concerned High Court with his plea against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons.
A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi refused to entertain the plea filed by Soren.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Jharkhand Chief Minister sought to withdraw the plea.
Soren had filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the summons issued against him and said that the case against him is a clear case of abuse of law by the Central Government and misuse of the Central agencies to destabilize the democratically elected Government of the State of Jharkhand of which he is the Chief Minister.
ED had asked Soren to join its investigation in the alleged money laundering case on August 24, but the Jharkhand chief minister did not appear before the central agency on that day.
In his plea, Soren had urged the top court to declare Section 50 and Section 63 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 as ultra vires to the Constitution of India and to issue appropriate direction to declare the summons against him as illegal and null and void. He also sought to quash summons against him and all steps taken and proceedings emanating therefrom.
Soren submitted that the issuance of summons is actuated by malice in fact as false allegation has been hoisted against the petitioner with the sole motive of creating political uncertainty and unrest in the State.
The respondent ED earlier also sought to link the petitioner with the alleged illegal mining of stone chips in Jharkhand and accordingly summons was issued, he further added.
He also told the court that he has duly provided details of all movable and immovable properties owned by him and his family along with certified copies of the title deed thereof.
Soren was earlier summoned by the ED in mid-August in connection with an alleged land scam case. However, Soren did not join the central agency probe stating that he was busy with the preparation for the Independence Day celebration in the state. He was again asked to appear on August 24 and September 9 but he did not appear before the probe agency.
ED again, through the fourth summon, asked to him to join the investigation on September 23.
Earlier the Chief Minister had confronted the federal agency asking it to withdraw the summons against him or else he will take legal action. In his letter, Soren had said that he has provided all necessary documents and information.
He wrote, if the ED needs any information, it can refer to the documents, he mentioned in his letter. He has also alleged that the ED has summoned him on August 14, on the instructions of its political masters.
“Your choice of the date of 14th August does not come as a surprise to the undersigned (Hemant Soren). You and your political masters are fully aware that being the Chief Minister of the state of Jharkhand, the undersigned is scheduled to hoist the national flag on the occasion of the 77th independence day of the Republic of India on 15th August 2023,” Soren had written

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