SC refuses to entertain Hemant’s interim bail plea

| | Ranchi
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SC refuses to entertain Hemant’s interim bail plea

Thursday, 23 May 2024 | PNS | Ranchi

The Supreme Court on May 22 refused to hear former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering case, as it pulled him up for hiding facts of the case.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president, who was arrested in January, has been trying for an interim bail, like Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A bench of justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma pulled up Soren’s counsel Kapil Sibal for not disclosing the fact that a special court had taken cognisance of the complaint against him, which left little room for him to challenge the validity of his arrest.

The court was also miffed over the fact that Soren pursued his bail petition, while also challenging the validity of his arrest.

After a vacation bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma expressed disinclination to entertain the matter, the petitioner chose to withdraw the petition. The bench orally observed during the hearing that the petitioner had not disclosed facts relating to the Special Court taking cognizance of the complaint filed by the ED.

It may be recalled on Tuesday’s hearing, the bench had asked Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal (appearing for Soren) to satisfy it on the proposition that the validity of arrest can be examined by the Court, despite the Trial Court taking cognizance of ED complaint and rejecting a regular bail application filed on behalf of Soren.

A bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma was upset that Soren had not disclosed to it that the trial court had taken cognisance of the complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate. “We expected some candour from your client. He should have said that he had already applied for bail. That was not told to us in the course of arguments…You were pursuing parallel remedies…Why is it that in none of the petitions, despite being aware, you are not spelling it out that cognisance was taken on April 4, 2024…Your conduct leaves a lot to be desired…This is not the way you come before the court without disclosing material facts,” Justice Datta told Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Soren.

The court finally said it intended to dismiss the petition and would say in the order that Soren had not approached it with clean hands. But Sibal said he would rather withdraw the plea which the bench agreed. The petition was finally dismissed as withdrawn.

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