The Enforcement Directorate i.e. ED has once again summoned Chief Minister Hemant Soren in the money laundering case related to the alleged land scam. ED has sent a letter to Hemant Soren and given a new deadline to appear. Also asked why he is not appearing on the summons. In the letter issued by the ED, it has been said that Hemant Soren should record his statement in the office of the investigating agency between January 16 and 20. For the record, even before this, the ED had issued a letter-cum-summons summoning Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren for questioning in this case of money laundering related to the alleged land scam.
In that letter also, ED had asked Soren to give information about date, place etc. to the investigating officer as per his convenience so that his statement could be recorded in the money laundering case. Overall, this is the eighth time that Soren has been summoned by the ED to record his statement in a money laundering case related to the alleged land scam. Last time, Soren had avoided appearing on the seventh summons-cum-letter.
ED had kept the deadline for the seventh summons as December 31. Hemant Soren has never appeared before the ED. ED had sent him the first summons on August 14. Chief Minister Hemant Soren had filed a petition against the ED summons in the Supreme Court and then in the Jharkhand High Court, seeking protection from ED action. However, his petitions have been rejected by both the courts. Every time Hemant Soren has termed the ED summons as unfair.
ED says its investigation is related to illegal change in land ownership by the mafia in Jharkhand. So far, this case has seen the arrest of 14 people. ED has also arrested 2011 batch IAS Chhavi Ranjan in this case. He was previously working as Director of the State Social Welfare Department. On the summons sent last time, such apprehensions were raised that ED could arrest Hemant Soren at any time. ED had also said that if Soren was not present, it would be forced to take legal action under the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Last time, CM Hemant Soren had also called a meeting of the alliance MLAs to discuss the political situation arising due to the summons of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). In this he took feedback from the MLAs on the immediate scenario. In this meeting, the MLAs had expressed their support towards Hemant Soren and said that all the colleagues in the Assembly are standing firmly with Soren. No threat will be allowed to the present government. Soren will remain the Chief Minister and the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections will be fought under his leadership. There was also speculation that in view of the possibility of arrest, Hemant Soren was preparing to hand over the post to his wife, but he rejected all the speculations.