February 18, 2024
ED Claims Illegal Possession of Land Parcels by Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren
Breaking News Jharkhand

ED Claims Illegal Possession of Land Parcels by Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

ED Claims Illegal Possession of Land Parcels by Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

ED Claims Illegal Possession of Land Parcels by Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

A dozen land parcels measuring about 8.5 acres in Ranchi are allegedly in “illegal possession, occupation, and use” of the arrested former Jharkhand Chief Minister, Hemant Soren, according to the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The agency claims these properties are proceeds of crime under anti-money laundering laws, and the case stems from a criminal case filed in June 2023 following raids against a state government employee, Bhanu Pratap Prasad.

Background of the Case:

The ED alleges that Bhanu Prasad, a custodian of original land records, was involved in corrupt practices, including falsification of records and fraudulent acquisition of properties. The information shared by the ED with the Jharkhand government led to a police FIR against Prasad in June 2023. The agency filed its ECIR (equivalent to an FIR) on June 26, 2023, based on this FIR. Bhanu Prasad’s involvement in acquiring and concealing properties illegally, including those connected to Hemant Soren, is highlighted in the ED’s claims.

Arrest and Grounds:

Hemant Soren was arrested by the ED on Wednesday night, soon after resigning as Chief Minister. The arrest is based on statements recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), establishing the alleged illegal acquisition and possession of 12 land parcels by Hemant Soren. The ED contends that these properties were concealed by Soren, leading to his arrest on charges of money laundering.

Legal Response and Asset Seizure:

Hemant Soren asserts that the land falls under the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act and cannot be transferred. He challenges the validity of documents recovered from someone’s phone as evidence. Additionally, he filed a plea before the Supreme Court challenging his arrest. The ED conducted searches at Soren’s residence in Delhi, seizing cash and documents related to the investigation.

The ED maintains that the 8.5-acre asset is a “proceeds of crime,” in unauthorized and illegal possession, and use by Hemant Soren. Hemant Soren is accused of being a party to activities connected with concealing original records and projecting the property acquired illegally as untainted.

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