In big relief for Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in the coal mining case as, the Supreme Court rejected plea calling for CBI and ED probe against the CM on Monday.
The top court said that the plea filed in the High Court seeking CBI and ED probe against the Jharkhand Chief Minister in coal mining case not maintainable setting aside the Jharkhand High Court order in the matter.
“We have allowed these two appeals and have set aside the June 3, 2022 order passed by the Jharkhand High Court, holding that these PILs were not maintainable,” the bench said.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit, S R Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia had reserved its judgement on August 17 on separate pleas of the Jharkhand government and Soren against the high court’s order that accepted the maintainability of the PILs.
The apex court had earlier restrained the high court from proceedings with the PILs seeking a probe against Soren in the mining lease issue.
Hemant Soren has been accused of running illegal mining operations in the state through his close aides. Soren is also facing disqualification as MLA on the BJP’s complaint for granting himself a mining lease while holding office in 2021.
Soren who has maintained that he has done nothing wrong tweeted responding to the Supreme Court decision and said - ‘Satyameve Jayate’ (truth triumphs).
The Enforcement Directorate has maintained that they have identified proceeds of over Rs 1,000 crore in crimes related to illegal mining in Jharkhand and has requested Soren’s questioning under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Till now, the central agency has arrested Soren’s political aide Pankaj Mishra and two others, a local muscleman Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash in this case.
ED’s probe began on July 8 this year, when it raided 19 locations including Sahibganj, Barhait, Rajmahal, Mirza Chauki and Barharwa.
In a chargesheet filed by ED, it said it recovered a sealed envelope containing a passbook and two cheque books containing two signed cheques associated with the bank account in the name of Hemant Soren held with Bank of India, Sahibganj.
ED also seized “one yellow color file marked as April 2019 to June 2022 having all bank details of Hemant Soren" and his family members, the agency had said in the charge sheet.
Till now, in the illegal mining and extortion case, 47 search operations have been conducted and cash worth Rs 5.34 crore has been recovered and bank balances of Rs 13.32 crore have been frozen.
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