Jharkhand high court dismisses Hemant Soren’s plea challenging ED summons - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Jharkhand high court dismisses Hemant Soren’s plea challenging ED summons

By, Ranchi
Oct 13, 2023 09:33 PM IST

Soren had challenged the summons issued by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) for questioning in connection with an ongoing money laundering probe related to an alleged land scam in Ranchi in the past two months, the first being on August 7, besides terming section 50 and section 63 of PMLA “unconstitutional”.

The Jharkhand high court on Friday dismissed chief minister Hemant Soren’s petition challenging the ED summons and two contentious provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), saying the plea was “not maintainable”.

The Jharkhand high court on Friday dismissed chief minister Hemant Soren’s petition challenging the ED summons (HT Photo)
The Jharkhand high court on Friday dismissed chief minister Hemant Soren’s petition challenging the ED summons (HT Photo)

Soren had challenged the summons issued by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) for questioning in connection with an ongoing money laundering probe related to an alleged land scam in Ranchi in the past two months, the first being on August 7, besides terming section 50 and section 63 of PMLA “unconstitutional”.

These two sections give the federal agency power to summon witnesses and extract confessions under the law’s section 50 and the punishment for false information under section 63.

On Friday, a division bench of chief justice Sanjaya Mishra and justice Anand Sen took up the matter for hearing. After hearing both sides, the bench decided to dismiss the petition.

Appearing on behalf of Soren, senior counsel Kapil Sibal argued that the ED summons lacked clarity as there is no case pending against the chief minister, and the summons did not clarify whether he has been summoned as an accused or a witness.

“The court dismissed the petition, saying it was not maintainable at this stage. Firstly, the plea seeking to set aside the ED summon has become infructuous as the life of the challenged summon has expired, and there is no fresh summon pending. Secondly, on the issue of challenging sections 50 and 63 of the PMLA Act, the court observed that the Supreme Court has already decided on the issue (in a separate case),” said a senior counsel who was part of the proceedings.

The chief minister has skipped five summons issued by the ED questioning so far, with the last one being on October 4.

“Since the summons date has already expired, there was no scope to stay or strike it down,” the counsel added.

The chief minister moved the high court on September 23, days after the Supreme Court refused to entertain his plea and directed him to approach the concerned high court.

While Soren’s lawyers remained tight-lipped over the future course of action, people close to the developments said a lot will depend on possible ED action, besides the upcoming review by the Supreme Court on October 18, when a special bench is scheduled to take up petitions challenging its judgment upholding contentious provisions of the PMLA.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, July 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On