Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren walks out of jail after bail in land scam case

Hemant Soren was granted bail by the High Court in a land scam case early today.
Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren walks out of jail after bail in land scam case
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Former Jharkhand chief minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hemant Soren was released from jail after he was granted bail by the high court in a money laundering case linked to a land scam.

"I was kept behind bars for 5 months...We are seeing how the judicial process is taking years not just days or months...Today, it is a message for the whole country that how a conspiracy was hatched against us...The fight we started and the resolutions we made, we will work to fulfil them," Soren told reporters, according to ANI.

Soren was granted bail in the case by the court two weeks after the court had reserved its order on the plea.

A single bench of Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay granted bail to Soren on a ₹50,000 bail bond and two sureties of the same amount.

Soren's counsel told PTI that the court held the ex-chief minister prima facie is not guilty of the offence.

"The court has held that prima facie he is not guilty of the offence and there is no likelihood of the petitioner committing an offence when on bail," senior counsel Arunabh Chowdhury told PTI.

Soren, the executive president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31 in connection with its investigation into the money laundering case. The 48-year-old politician was lodged in Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi since then.

During the hearing on Friday, SV Raju, representing the Enforcement Directorate (ED), had objected to the bail plea stating that Soren is an influential person and had earlier tried to protect himself by using the state missionary. “If granted bail, he may try to obstruct the investigation by misusing the state machinery.”

Raju submitted that Soren had a plan to build a banquet hall on the land located at Bargain in Jharkhand and his architect friend Vinod Singh sent its map to him through mobile. He also submitted that during the survey, Singh identified the land at Bargain and admitted in his statement that he provided the details of the land on instructions from the chief minister’s office.

Senior Supreme Court advocate Kapil Sibal and Meenakshi Arora, who also represented Soren, said that there was no case of money laundering, but one of ‘political vendetta’. “This is a malicious prosecution by the central government by misusing the ED.”

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Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren walks out of jail after bail in land scam case

The detailed order is yet to be made available.

Source: Hindustan Times

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