Illegal mining case: Relief for Hemant Soren as Supreme Court sets aside Jharkhand HC order

In a big relief for Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, the Supreme Court Monday held that the Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed before the Jharkhand High Court seeking a probe against him in an alleged mining scam case were not maintainable.

While pronouncing the judgement today, a bench comprising Chief Justice of India U U Lalit and Justices Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia, said, “We have allowed these two appeals and have set aside the June 3, 2022 order passed by the Jharkhand High Court, holding that these PILs were not maintainable.”

In August, the apex court had stayed the proceedings pending before the High Court in the PILs, while reserving its order.

The row had started with the BJP accusing Soren of allocating a mining lease to his political advisor Pankaj Mishra and press advisor Abhishek Prasad. Mishra is in judicial custody after the Enforcement Directorate arrested him following raids conducted to unearth alleged illegal mining in the state.

Meanwhile, Soren has written a letter to the Election Commission (EC) asking for a copy of Governor Ramesh Bais’s request to the poll panel for a relook of its opinion on the mining case. In August, the EC had sent its opinion to the Governor on Soren’s possible disqualification over his ownership of a mining lease while being a mines minister. The Governor has not made the opinion public.

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