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No interim relief to Hemant Soren now, SC lists next hearing on May 21

The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned hearing on former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's interim bail for election campaigning till May 21.

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Jharkhans Chief Minister Hemant Soren
Lmage: PTI

The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned hearing on former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s interim bail for election campaigning till May 21. A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta listed the matter for further hearing on May 21.

When the hearing began, the Enforcement Directorate sought time to file a reply to the petition. The court asked the ED to file a reply by the next date of the hearing. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, for ED, said that Soren was arrested long before the elections.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal for Soren stressed interim bail and apprised the court that one phase of the Lok Sabha poll is over, the fifth phase is on May 20 and the third phase is scheduled for May 25. He also said that there is no material to show against Soren in the case. The top court said that it will not pass any order unless it is prima facie satisfied.

Soren has approached the top court against the Jharkhand High Court decision which rejected his plea challenging arrest in a money laundering case. Jharkhand High Court has rejected Soren’s plea challenging arrest in a money laundering case on May 3. Soren in his plea before the High Court has claimed that his arrest was unwarranted and his remand in the matter was arbitrary and illegal.

Hemant Soren, who has filed the petition through advocate Pragya Baghel, called his arrest illegal and malafide. In the meantime, he has sought interim bail. After a prolonged moment of speculation in the media and a hide-and-seek drama, former Jharkhand Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Chairperson Hemant Soren was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in the land scam case in January.

The probe pertains to huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by forging official records by showing ‘fake sellers’ and purchasers in the guise of forged or bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land valued in crores.

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