The Supreme Court on Friday (May 10) disposed of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate as "infructuous" in view of the Jharkhand High Court's dismissal of his petition seeking the same relief, reports

Soren had filed the present petition aggrieved by the delay of the High Court in pronouncing the judgment despite concluding the arguments on February 29. 

After the Supreme Court issued notice on Soren's petition on April 29, the High Court delivered the judgment on May 3, dismissing his challenge to the ED arrest. 

Following that, Soren filed a fresh Special Leave Petition challenging the High Court's judgment.  

Today, the bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta stated that the petition has become infructuous since the High Court has delivered the verdict. The bench stated that Soren would be at liberty to raise all contentions in the second petition, which is coming up next week. 

“It is clarified that all pleas and contentions can be raised in the SLP filed challenging the HC order of May 3, 2024," the bench stated. 

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Soren, requested the bench to not treat the petition as "infructuous", saying that the ED will seek further time for its response in the new petition, causing an additional delay. 

“I have a right as a citizen to be dealt with fairly by the HC....I remember telling your Lordships that this will happen if I am sent to HC, it has happened," Sibal said. 

The bench said that all the arguments can be considered the new petition. Soren had resigned from the post of Chief Minister (Jharkhand) on January 31 this year. 

Following the same, he was arrested in the land scam case on allegations of being the primary beneficiary of the fraudulently acquired land.


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