Central probe agency-- Enforcement Directorate (ED) today issued fresh summons to Chief Minister Hemant Soren. The investigating agency in its fifth summons to CM has asked him to appear before the ED on October 4 for questioning in the multi-crore land scam in Ranchi. The ED has issued fresh summons to Soren as he had earlier skipped four summons issued by ED.
The ED summons to Soren assume importance as recently, the Supreme Court has asked CM Soren to knock Jharkhand High Court against his plea against ED. The summons also gained significance as Soren had sent a letter to the ED on September 23, pleading that the summons be put on hold till the Jharkhand High Court delivers its judgment on his petition filed to quash the summons. The high court is yet to list the case for hearing.
Last week, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a petition filed by Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren against the summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged Illegal mining case, asking the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader to approach the jurisdictional high court first.
Why don’t you go to the high court? We can’t entertain it here directly. You go to the high court,” a bench justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi told Soren’s lawyer, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi.
Soren, in his petition, had stated that the summons is a clear misuse of the Section 50 of the PMLA, which directly infringes upon his right of personal liberty enshrined in the Constitution. “The draconian provisions of PMLA are being misused without giving any information to the person being summoned and the purpose and realm of enquiry,” he stated in his petition.
Notably, he had skipped the first summons for questioning in connection with an ongoing money laundering case related to fraudulent sale of land parcels in the state capital on August 14.
In a letter to the ED, he had sought its withdrawal questioning its legality.
Again, he skipped the second summons, saying he has challenged it in the Supreme Court and so, the ED should wait till the apex court’s order.
However, the ED issued the third summons and asked him to appear for questioning on September 9. The chief minister, however, decided to attend the G20 dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu and skipped it again. Thereafter, the ED issued fourth summons and asked him to appear on September 23.