On Monday, the Jharkhand High Court adjourned the hearing on the petition filed by the detained former Chief Minister Hemant Soren against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to February 27. The court has directed the federal agency to submit a consolidated affidavit.
A high court lawyer familiar with the development said the hearing was deferred after the court accepted the amendment in his petition and ED sought two weeks to file a reply.
“On behalf of Soren, senior Supreme Court advocate Kapil Sibal, advocate general (AG) Rajeev Ranjan, and advocate Piyush Chitresh appeared. Additional solicitor general SV Raju and high court advocate AK Das appeared on behalf of ED. The matter was heard in the division bench headed by Justice S Chandrashekhar,” the lawyer said.
Soren's lawyer, Chitresh, verified the progress, indicating that the plea's next hearing date has been confirmed. Soren was apprehended by the Enforcement Directorate on January 31 in connection with a money laundering case related to an alleged land fraud.
Even before being taken into custody, Soren had filed a petition in the high court and expressed the fear of arrest.
He had requested the court that no coercive action should be taken against him during interrogation.
On February 1, he sought time from the high court saying he was arrested and filed a petition against it in the Supreme Court.
He also attempted to withdraw the case as it was wrong to go to two forums for similar relief.
The ED objected to the petition withdrawal attempt and sought permission from the court to reply to the matter.
On February 2, the Supreme Court heard Soren's petition, but it declined to address the matter, stating that doing so would establish a wrong precedent.
The Supreme Court instructed Soren to initially approach the high court, following which Soren filed an intervention petition in the high court.
The hearing was held on February 5 and the same day, the high court had given time till February 9 to ED to file its reply and fixed Monday’s date for hearing.
Image source: ANI