The Jharkhand High Court on Friday turned down the state government's appeal to adjourn the hearing in two PILs filed against Chief Minister Hemant Soren, alleging that he held an office of profit and people close to him laundered money through shell companies.

Appearing for the state government, Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan pleaded before a Division Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad for adjourning the hearing of the two petitions.

Ranjan said the state government decided to challenge the order of the high court on the maintainability of the PILs before the Supreme Court.

The High Court did not grant an adjournment in the matter, observing that the Supreme Court had earlier asked it to decide the question of maintainability.

The Division Bench on June 3 had passed an order, affirming the maintainability of the PILs. The Bench had observed that the fate of the cases is not known but the causes raised in the two petitions prima facie make out a case of public interest.

The Chief Justice told the AG that the state is free to challenge any order, but the High Court was not restrained to hear the matter. The Court posted the matter for hearing on June 17.

One of the petitions seeks a CBI probe into the shell companies run allegedly by people close to Soren to launder money. The other alleged that he got a mining lease issued in his name while being in office, which is a violation of the mandate for not holding an office of profit.

With PTI inputs