Hemant Soren Seeks Interim Bail from Supreme Court for Lok Sabha Election Campaigning

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren petitions Supreme Court for interim bail in a money laundering case, citing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's recent interim relief. The Supreme Court gives the Enforcement Directorate three days to respond, with the next hearing set for May 17.

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Hemant Soren Seeks Interim Bail from Supreme Court for Lok Sabha Election Campaigning

Hemant Soren Seeks Interim Bail from Supreme Court for Lok Sabha Election Campaigning

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has petitioned the Supreme Court for interim bail in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam, citing the recent order granting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal interim relief for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls.

Why this matters: The outcome of Soren'spetition could have significant implications for the balance of power in Jharkhand and the broader political landscape in India. The case also raises questions about the timing and motivations behind the investigations targeting opposition leaders, which could have far-reaching consequences for Indian democracy.

The Supreme Court has given the Enforcement Directorate (ED) three days to respond to Soren's petition, with the next hearing set for May 17. Soren's counsel, Kapil Sibal, argued that his client should be granted interim bail, citing the precedent set by Kejriwal's order, which allows him to campaign in the elections. Sibal emphasized the need for parity with Kejriwal, stating, "Kejriwal's order covers me completely."

The bench, comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, initially set the matter for a vacation bench on May 20 but agreed to an expedited hearing due to the ongoing general elections. Soren was arrested on January 31 in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam in Jharkhand.

The ED has accused Soren of being the key beneficiary in alleged land-related irregularities in Ranchi, where a network of brokers and businessmen allegedly created fake deeds of landed parcels by forging records in registrar offices. Soren has denied the charges.

On May 3, the Jharkhand High Court rejected Soren's challenge to his arrest by ED. The Supreme Court granted Kejriwal temporary bail until June 1st in the Delhi excise policy case on May 10. Polling in Jharkhand for the Lok Sabha seats is scheduled for May 13 (4 seats), May 20 (3 seats), May 25 (4 seats), and June 1 (3 seats).

The case against Soren comes amid a series of investigations targeting opposition leaders across the country. Soren, a prominent figure in Jharkhand politics, has termed his arrest as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party's alleged vendetta against leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc. As the legal battle unfolds, the Supreme Court's decision on Soren's interim bail plea could have significant implications for his ability to campaign in the crucial Lok Sabha elections.

Key Takeaways

  • Hemant Soren petitions Supreme Court for interim bail in money laundering case.
  • He cites Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's interim relief as precedent.
  • Supreme Court gives ED 3 days to respond, next hearing on May 17.
  • Soren arrested on Jan 31 in connection with alleged land scam in Jharkhand.
  • Case outcome may impact Jharkhand's political landscape and Lok Sabha elections.