Did You Demand Justice Before Filing PIL?- Supreme Court Asks Petitioner In PIL Before HC Against Hemant Soren
The Supreme Court's Bench comprising of Justice U. U. Lalit and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat asked the petitioner in the PIL filed before the Jharkhand High Court alleging corruption against Chief Minister Hemant Soren whether he had demanded justice from the authorities or sought registration of FIR in the matter before filing the PIL. The Court has adjourned the matter to Wednesday for the final hearing.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the state of Jharkhand told the Court that the Enforcement Directorate came to the Court and gave documents in a sealed cover, though there was no predicate offence involved, "as if they were ready with it" and the Court considered the documents.
When Sibal said that the High Court started day-to-day hearing of the matter during vacation, on Saturdays etc. and that they were not given sufficient time, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta objected that the remark was not in good taste.
Sibal told the Court that the lawyer appearing for the Petitioner in the PIL was arrested in Calcutta. Sibal also said that the Petitioner did not file a complaint or seek registration of FIR. He said that "this is a motivated PIL and should be thrown out".
The Bench asked the Counsel for the petitioner whether the petitioner had demanded justice from authorities before the PIL was filed. The Court was told that a representation was addressed to the PMO.
Since the representation was not readily available with the parties, the Court asked the state to produce the paper book and pleadings filed before the High Court and said that the matter will be heard on Wednesday.
The state of Jharkhand had moved the Supreme Court challenging the order of the High Court of Jharkhand which accepted that the PIL filed against Chief Minister Hemant Soren for alleged money laundering through shell companies in the grant of mining lease is maintainable.
The Apex Court had previously ordered that the High Court of Jharkhand should first decide on the maintainability of the PIL. On June 3rd the High Court, in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court, held that the writ petitions filed cannot be thrown away on the grounds of maintainability and needs further hearing on merit.
Public Interest Litigations were filed before the High Court seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate into the allegations of corruption, money laundering and misuse of office levelled against the CM Hemant Soren in the grant of mining lease case.
It was claimed that several shell companies owned by family members of Soren were formed to embezzle and launder money.