ED sends its 6th summon to Soren, calls him for questioning today
Summons a part of ongoing money laundering probe related to sale and purchase of land in the state capital Ranchi
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has served summons to Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, for a sixth time, asking him to appear before it for questioning in connection with an ongoing money laundering probe related to sale and purchase of land in the state capital Ranchi, officials aware of the development said on Monday.
“The chief minister is expected to appear at the zonal office of the federal agency in Ranchi on Tuesday (December 12),” an official said.
Soren, also the executive president of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in the state, has skipped five summons in past. The first summon was served on August 7, and the fifth on October 4.
Soren had moved the Supreme Court instead, seeking a stay on the summons, besides terming section 50 and section 63 of the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) unconstitutional. These two sections give the federal agency power to summon witnesses and extract confession under section 50 of the law and the punishment for false information under section 63.
The apex court had, however, refused to entertain the petition and directed the JMM leader to approach the respective high court. Accordingly, Soren moved Jharkhand HC, which dismissed his petition on October 13.
To date, Soren has not challenged the HC order.
While the JMM leaders remained tight-lipped, the chief minister accused the BJP government at the Centre of misusing the agencies, without naming ED or mentioning the fresh summons.
“Several conspiracies are being hatched by the opposition to defame our government. Agencies are being misused to defame us, while our government is busy wiping the tears of people,” Soren said at an event related to his government’s outreach programme Sarkar Aapke Dwar in Bokaro.
As part of the programme, sources said, Soren was scheduled to attend an event in Dumka on Tuesday when he was expected to appear before the ED in Ranchi.
JMM spokesperson Manoj Pandey, meanwhile, said, Soren would act according to the suggestions of his legal advisors. “He has taken recourse in court against the ED summons. He will further proceed according to the suggestions of his legal advisors,” said Pandey.
The opposition BJP in the state demanded that the Governor sack the CM if he fails to appear before ED. “It would be better for the CM to abide by law and appear before the agency. If he does not, I urge the Governor to take legal action and dismiss him from the chair,” said Jharkhand BJP chief Babulal Marandi.