ANI Photo | SC refuses to entertain Hemant Soren’s plea, asks him to approach HC

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain JMM leader and former chief minister Heman Soren’s plea, challenging his arrest by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in the land deal case, asking him to approach the concerned High Court with his petition.
A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna, MM Sundresh and Bela M Trivedi said that they are not inclined to entertain the 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.
When the bench assembled early in the morning, the court asked the petitioner’s lawyer, “Why don’t you approach HC”?
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Soren, submitted that the matter deals with a Chief Minister who has been arrested. The top court remarked courts are open to everybody and high courts are constitutional. If they allow one person then they have to allow everybody, the top court said.
Soren approached the Supreme Court against the ED’s action saying that the probe agency abused its powers and acted in a malafide manner to destabilise a democratically elected government in Jharkhand.
Soren, who has filed the petition through advocate Pragya Baghel, called his custody illegal, malafide and without jurisdiction.
He sought to have his arrest and consequent detention declared as unwarranted, arbitrary, illegal, and violative of the fundamental rights of the petitioner guaranteed and protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.
He also urged the apex court to direct the respondent agency to, forthwith, set the petitioner free.
Soren, in the petition, was urged to immediately release him from custody.
“The Enforcement Directorate is brazenly acting under the dictates of the Central Government and hounding the petitioner to destabilise a democratically elected government headed by the petitioner, who is the Chief Minister of the State of Jharkhand,” Hemant Soren said in the petition.
The JMM leader told the court that he mentioned his petition to the ED through an email dated January 31.
“Even the petitioner himself intimated the same to the officer of respondent no. 2 (ED). It was requested that Respondent No. 2 should await the outcome of the proceedings before the Supreme Court of India,” the JMM leader said.
“Despite that officer of Respondent No. 2, led by one Devrat Jha Assistant Director with the deliberate intent to make the present Writ Petition infructuous, has taken the Petitioner in its illegal custody from the precinct of the Governor House, where the Petitioner had gone to tender his resignation as the Chief Minister along with his MLA’s and allies who are in clear majority. The custody of the petitioner is illegal, malafide, and without jurisdiction,” Soren stated in his plea.
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 impugned summons are ex facie illegal, null, and void, being violative of the object and provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and impinge upon the fundamental rights guaranteed to the petitioner under Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India. The Enforcement Directorate is brazenly acting under the dictates of the Central Government and hounding the petitioner to destabilise a democratically elected government headed by the petitioner, who is the (now former) Chief Minister of the State of Jharkhand,” Soren argued in his plea.
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.
After an intriguing 40-hour spell during which he allegedly went missing even as ED sleuths camped at his residence to question him in the alleged land ‘scam’ case, Hemant Soren was finally arrested on Wednesday night.
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

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