SC seeks ED’s reply on Hemant Soren’s plea for interim bail

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) resplonse by May 20 on former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren’s plea seeking interim bail in a money-laundering case for campaigning in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta also asked the federal agency to file a short reply on Soren’s plea against his arrest and listed the matter before a vacation bench on May 21.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing in the court on behalf of Soren, said if granted interim bail, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader will surrender on June 2.

“There is no material against me in the case. Elections will be over if not granted interim bail,” Sibal said.

Sibal and senior advocate Arunabh Chowdhury, also representing Soren in the matter, said the JMM leader is not in possession of the land in question in the case and has nothing to do with it.

Appearing in the matter on behalf of the ED, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju said Soren was arrested long ago and he has not even challenged the dismissal of his regular bail application.

Soren was arrested on January 31 in the money-laundering case linked to an alleged land scam after he resigned as the Jharkhand chief minister.