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Coal Mining Case: Relief for Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren as SC rejects plea for CBI & ED probe

Jharkhand: In the coal mining case, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has got a great relief because the Supreme Court rejected the petition demanding CBI and ED investigation against the Chief Minister on Monday. The High Court had held the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking probe against Mr Soren in the alleged mining scam case maintainable.

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Jharkhand: In the coal mining case, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has got a great relief because the Supreme Court rejected the petition demanding CBI and ED investigation against the Chief Minister on Monday. The High Court had held the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking probe against Mr Soren in the alleged mining scam case maintainable.

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Hemant Soren welcomed the Supreme Court’s order with a “Satyameva Jayate! (truth alone triumphs)” message on Twitter.

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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. Mr Soren faces disqualification as MLA on the BJP’s complaint for granting himself a mining lease while holding office in 2021. The Election Commission has reportedly recommended to Governor Ramesh Bais that the action be taken against him. But the Governor has kept that hanging, even though Mr Soren has asked for the “envelope” to be opened immediately.

“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. The Enforcement Directorate had earlier arrested his aide Pankaj Mishra and two others in the case, after raids in July and seizure of Rs 11.88 crore from Mr Mishra’s bank accounts. The agency claimed to have found Rs 5.34 crore in “unaccounted” cash from Mr Mishra’s home. Three months ago, the ED questioned Mr Soren’s press adviser, Abhishek Prasad, too.

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. 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.

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