The Enforcement Directorate issued a summons to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren for questioning in connection with an alleged land scam, sources said on Saturday. CM Soren has been asked to depose at the federal agency’s office and get his statement recorded on a date convenient to him in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the sources said.
Notably, this is the seventh time CM Soren has been issued a summons by the agency. “ED issued a seventh summons to CM Hemant Soren under Section 50 of the PMLA, asking him to record his statement at the place, date, and time mutually convenient to him as well as the agency in ongoing land scam,” the sources said.
Earlier on December 12, CM Soren was asked to appear before the agency for questioning but the Chief Minister skipped the proceedings. The BJP earlier criticised the Jharkhand CM for continuously skipping the summons.
Soren was summoned by the ED earlier in mid-August in connection with a land ‘scam’ case. However, the CM ignored the summons, claiming that he was busy with the state’s Independence Day celebrations. He was asked again to appear on August 24 and September 9 but he skipped the dates, citing preoccupations.
The agency then issued its fourth summons to the Jharkhand CM, asking him to report to the agency on September 23. The CM had earlier threatened to move for legal proceedings against the Centre if it did not withdraw the summonses issued against him. In his letter to the agency, Soren said he had provided all necessary documents and information to the ED.
He wrote that if the ED needed any information, it could refer to the documents that he had already shared with the agency. However, he alleged that the ED summoned him on August 14 at the behest of its “political masters.”