The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s petition against an Enforcement Directorate summons in connection with a money-laundering case, reported Live Law.
A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi asked him to approach the Jharkhand High Court.
On Sunday, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader approached the court after the Enforcement Directorate asked him to appear before it on September 23.
This was despite Soren having already moved the top court challenging the previous summons sent to him to depose on August 24 at the central agency’s office in Ranchi. Before this, the Enforcement Directorate had asked him to appear on August 14.
In his plea on Sunday, Soren contended that the repeated summons were politically motivated and were being sent to “browbeat, humiliate and intimidate” him.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Soren, on Monday attempted to highlight the arbitrariness of the summons, reported Live Law. “It’s a complete witch hunt,” he said.
Rohatgi also stated that there were a number of questions related to the constitutionality of the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act, 2002, that are pending in the Supreme Court.
However, the judges declined to go into the issue, after which Soren withdrew the plea.
The Enforcement Directorate has been investigating two major cases of alleged money-laundering in Jharkhand. The first one is related to illegal mining in Sahibganj. Soren was questioned in connection with it on November 17.
The second case is related to an alleged land scam in Ranchi. Thirteen persons, including IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan and Kolkata-based businessmen Amit Agrawal, have already been arrested in the case.
The arrests were made on allegations of fraudulent sale of land parcels at prime locations in Ranchi.