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Jharkhand land scam: ED issues fifth summon to CM Soren on October 4, say sources

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren
Image Source : PTI/FILE Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday issued a fresh summon s against Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren asking him to appear before the court on October 4 in connection to an alleged land scam case, sources said. Notably, this is the fifth summons issued to him. 

Soren filed a petition in the Jharkhand High Court on Saturday (September 24) challenging the summons issued by the ED against him after the Supreme Court refused to hear his plea. 

SC refuses to entertain Hemant Soren’s plea

Earlier on September 18, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain Soren’s plea against the ED’s summons in a case of alleged money laundering. Following the top court’s direction, Soren withdrew his plea. A bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Bela M Trivedi granted Soren the liberty to approach the Jharkhand High Court for relief in the matter.

Soren had filed a petition in the top court challenging the summons issued to him and alleged that the case was a clear “abuse of law” by the Centre and an attempt to destabilize his democratically elected government. The central agency has asked him to appear on September 23.

ED summoned Soren

He was earlier summoned by the ED in mid-August in connection with the land scam case. However, he skipped the probe stating that he was busy with the Independence Day celebration preparation in Jharkhand. Soren was again asked to appear on August 24 and September 9, however, he did not appear before the probe agency.

The ED has arrested Soren’s political aide Pankaj Mishra and two others — local muscleman Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash — in this case. The agency has said it has “identified” proceeds of crime relating to illegal mining in the state to the tune of more than Rs 1,000 crore till now.

ED on November 17 last year had interrogated Soren over nine hours by the ED in connection with another money-laundering case linked to alleged illegal mining in the state.

The central probe agency is investigating more than a dozen land deals, including one related to defence land, wherein a group of mafia, middlemen and bureaucrats allegedly connived to forge deeds and documents of as long back as 1932.

ALSO READ | Money laundering case: CM Hemant Soren moves Jharkhand HC challenging ED summons

ALSO READ | Supreme Court refuses to entertain Hemant Soren’s plea against ED summons in money laundering case

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