A special PMLA court in Ranchi on Thursday extended the judicial remand of former chief minister Hemant Soren and 11 others for 14- days till July 11 in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

“Hemant Soren was produced before the court through video conferencing,” the lawyer said. Soren’s advocate Pradeep Chandra confirmed the order. 

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief was arrested on January 31 from his residence in an alleged money laundering case linked to the land scam by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ED had alleged that Soren purchased 8.12 acres of tribal land in a bargain using his illegally earned money. 

During the judicial custody of Soren, ED accessed Soren’s Whatsapp chat with his architect friend Vinod Kumar Singh and claimed to have collected vital evidence of his alleged “illegal sources of earnings”. 

Soren has contradicted the allegations, saying there is no record suggesting that he had purchased land, adding that the federal agency has falsely implicated him in the case. 

Eleven other accused whose remand period was extended for 14 days till July 11 after they were produced before the court through video conference, were: 

Bhanu Pratap Prasad, JMM leader Antu Tirkey, Land dealer Bipin Singh, Priyaranjan Sahay, Md.Irshad, Md.Afsar Ali, Md. Sallam, Shekhar Kushwaha, Irshad Akhtar, Kolkata-based Registrar of Assurance staff Tapas Ghosh and Sanjit Kumar.

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