Lawyer representing petitioner in PILs against Jharkhand chief minister arrested by Kolkata Police
He was arrested on charges of duping people of Rs 50 lakh, according to a report.
A lawyer appearing for a petitioner in Public Interest Litigations against Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was arrested on Sunday by the Kolkata Police on charges of duping people of Rs 50 lakh, The Indian Express reported.
The lawyer, Rajiv Kumar, had filed two separate PILs on behalf of Right To Information activist Shiv Kumar Sharma. The first related to the alleged allotment of a mining licence in the name of Soren himself while holding the mining portfolio and the second was about shell companies allegedly operated by the chief minister and other members of his family to launder money.
In another PIL, Kumar alleged corruption in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme. The PIL referred to former Jharkhand Mining Secretary Puja Singhal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in May after a huge stash of money was recovered from her home.
On Sunday, the lawyer was arrested by the Kolkata Police’s anti-rowdy squad and officers from a mall in central Kolkata, according to The Indian Express. The police are on the lookout for possible accomplices of Kumar, who is known as the “PIL man” in Jharkhand.
In the PIL filed in February related to the mining lease granted by the Jharkhand chief minister to himself, Kumar had filed an additional plea claiming he had been threatened and sought protection. However, Advocate General Rajeev Ranjan had said that the plea was filed to scandalise Soren.
During the course of hearings in the case, Kapil Sibal, representing the state government, questioned the legitimacy of the PIL as the petitioner’s father was a witness in a case against Shibu Soren, the father of Hemant Soren who was the chief minister of Jharkhand thrice.
Stating that this was not disclosed in the PIL, Mukul Rohatgi, arguing for Hemant Soren, called the PIL “malafide”.