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Soren involved in land scam, tried to alter records: ED to SC | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: A day before Supreme Court hears ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s plea against his arrest in a money laundering case, Enforcement Directorate on Monday filed an affidavit in the top court with documentary evidence about how he clandestinely acquired 8.8 acres of prime land in Ranchi and used his powers to change the records after ED issued summons to him.The agency also told SC through the affidavit, filed in response to Soren’s appeal challenging a Jharkhand HC judgment rejecting his petition, that once the ex-CM was caught for his wrongdoings and documents were seized during raids, he resorted to filing FIRs against ED officials under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to deter them from continuing with the probe.Soren had filed the case against ED officials on the day of his arrest on Jan 31. HC had stayed the proceedings under SC/ST Act against ED officials and provided protection to them.Soren’s counsel Kapil Sibal had last week informed a bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta that the land in question did not belong to the ex-CM and that ED had filed the case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act just to immobilise an opposition politician ahead of elections. Soren is seeking interim bail, placing his case on par with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal who is booked in a PMLA case relating to the Delhi liquor scam case.In the affidavit, ED attached photographs of purported official attempts to alter land records after summons were issued to Soren. The agency also attached photographs of huge amounts of cash seized during various raids in connection with the land scam against Soren and his alleged accomplices. Soren’s petition is listed for hearing before a vacation bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and S C Sharma on Tuesday.As in the case of Kejriwal, who was granted interim bail on May 10 till June 1 to enable him to campaign during the Lok Sabha elections, ED reiterated its stand that campaigning was neither a fundamental nor a constitutional right and that if interim bail was granted on this ground to one in custody, then no politician could ever be kept in custody for their wrongdoings as elections, in one form or the other, were held round the year in India.ED said Soren’s accomplices prepared fake documents to camouflage his ownership of the illicitly acquired land, for which he and his architect had allegedly finalised a plan to build a banquet hall.The agency said, “During investigation, the role of many senior bureaucrats were found involved – former state mining secretary Pooja Singhal in MGNREGA scam and coal scam, ex-DC of Ranchi Chhavi Ranjan in land scam, ex-principal secretary to CM Rajeev Arun Ekka in the scam relating to transfer and posting of officials and tender scam.”These persons are acting in the garb of state machinery and conducting illegal activities. However, the Jharkhand govt took no action against them even after information under Section 66(2) of PMLA was shared. The ex-CM shielded these persons and till date continues to exercise influence over the administration.”


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