Soren: ED may arrest CM Soren for no-show after 6 summonses | India News


NEW DELHI: Refusal of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren to appear before its investigating officers, sixth time in a row, in a money laundering case appears to have led the Enforcement Directorate to consider the extreme option of taking him into custody and seek his response to the allegations of corruption he is being investigated for.

Sources said Soren’s questioning is crucial for the probe and emphasised that his appeals against the summons were turned down by the high court and the Supreme Court.

The Jharkhand CM is facing allegations of corruption and money laundering in multiple cases, including mining and land scams. He is also under investigation in connection with the allegations of a Maoist, recently deported from Nepal, about the protection money his gang paid to individuals close to the CM.
On Tuesday, Soren failed to appear at the ED’s Ranchi office where he was called to record statements in a land scam probe, making it the 6th time of non-compliance with the summons of the anti-money-laundering agency. The consistent refusal brings him precariously close to being taken into custody, especially when the court, while rejecting his challenge to summons, directed him to cooperate with the probe agency. “He has run out of options,” said a senior source familiar with the investigation.
As reported by TOI earlier, ED had last year seized more than Rs 20 crore in cash and in bank accounts from one of CM’s close associates Pankaj Mishra. Searches at Mishra’s premises had also led to the recovery of cheques issued by Soren and an AK-47 assault rifle.
In January this year, while arguing against the bail application of Prem Prakash, another close associate the CM, ED told the HC that its probe had revealed generation of over Rs 1,000 crore of ‘proceeds of crime’ in the mining scam alone.
In its submission before the HC, ED had said Prakash is a close associate of the CM, besides Soren’s constituency representative Pankaj Mishra, and was responsible for collecting the ‘proceeds of crime’ generated from illegal mining.ED had also said that more than Rs 50 crore had been seized/attached in multiple cases in which Soren is being investigated. Mishra, Prakash and another close associate of CM Amit Agarwal have already been arrested.


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