Ranchi: Hemant Soren’s troubles don’t seem to be over after he got immediate relief from the Supreme Court on a PIL alleging illegal mining and money laundering by the Jharkhand chief minister.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has traced money laundering of over Rs 1,000 crore in a case related to illegal mining in Jharkhand and is preparing to summon Soren again for questioning on the same.
The ED summoned Soren for questioning on November 3, but the latter sought three weeks’ time citing his unavailability. He may be summoned for the second time after November 15, sources said.
If Soren does not appear for questioning despite repeated summons, the ED can move the court for further action.
The SC on Monday held that the PIL against Soren and his associates was maintainable. It was filed in the Jharkhand High Court by a man named Sivashankar Sharma, on which Soren and his government filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP), questioning its maintainability.
During the hearing of this SLP, the counsel for the defendant argued that there is sufficient information to prove the investment in the shell companies and the allocation of mining leases, on the basis of which the hearing of the PIL should continue.
The SC rejected the ED’s argument and said that if it has enough evidence of money laundering, it can investigate the matter itself.
The hearing of the PIL against Soren in the Jharkhand High Court was quashed by the SC order, but the ED investigation in the case remained unaffected.