How can interim bail be granted when regular bail is rejected?

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
5 Min Read

New Delhi: During the hearing on the interim bail plea of ​​former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, accused in the money laundering case related to the land scam, the Supreme Court questioned whether the trial court has taken cognizance of the case and rejected the regular bail. Is the arrest legal? Can be tested? The court asked Hemant Soren's lawyer as to how he could be granted interim bail to campaign in the Lok Sabha elections after the regular bail plea was rejected. Soren has challenged his arrest in the Supreme Court. Interim bail has been sought for election campaign.

Case is different from Kejriwal: ED

ED opposed this and said that Soren's case is different from that of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. If interim bail is granted for election campaign, then the cases of many such leaders will come before the court. There will be a flood of such cases. A bench led by Justice Dipankar Dutta has fixed Wednesday for further hearing in the case. Soren was arrested by ED in a money laundering case related to the land scam. Citing Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal case, he has demanded bail for election campaign. On Tuesday, Soren argued that the charge of land grabbing is not in the list of crimes under the Money Laundering Act. In such a situation, the ED cannot arrest him by using the power under Section 19 of PMLA.

Hemant Soren did not get relief from the Supreme Court, now the hearing on interim bail will be held on 22nd

What did Soren's lawyer say?

Soren's lawyer Kapil Sibal argued that the case pertains to 8.86 acres of land. Soren has nothing to do with this land. It is alleged that Soren had forcibly occupied this land in 2009-10. ED has registered the case in April 2023. Sibal said that there were no complaints between 2009-10 and April 2023. This matter is completely a civil matter. Sibal cited the recent Prabir Purkayastha Judgment. He said that if the arrest itself is invalid then the further remand order also becomes invalid. On this, Justice Dutta said that there is a difference in some facts. Prima facie it seems that the court has taken cognizance of this matter. Your case is that arrest cannot be made under Section 19, because this is not a case of PMLA. In the Prabir case the arrest was invalid because its grounds were not stated.

What is the basis of opposition to ED?

ED said that Soren has misused the government machinery. A complaint has been registered against the officials under the SC/ST Act. In this case, the statement has been recorded under Section 50 of the PMLA Act. It is clear from the facts that illegal acquisition of land has taken place in Ranchi and it is in the possession of Hemant Soren. It has been used by Hemant Soren. ED has also said that the Jharkhand High Court has rejected the bail plea, but Soren has not yet challenged it.

What is the stand of the Supreme Court?

The ED has said in the case that campaigning for elections is neither a fundamental right, nor a constitutional right, nor a legal right. If Hemant Soren is given special treatment and interim bail, then no political leader will be kept in jail. However, this argument was also given while opposing the interim bail of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Now it remains to be seen what decision the Supreme Court takes after this argument.

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