Mining: SC allows appeals of Jharkhand govt, Soren

One-liner: The SC on Monday allowed the appeals of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren and the state govt against an HC order accepting the maintainability of PILs for a probe into the mining lease issue. It also set aside the Jharkhand HC's June 3 order. 

Soren tweets: "Satyamev Jayate," Soren, who has been accused of granting himself a mining lease as the state's mining minister, said on Twitter after the SC's ruling.

Not maintainable: "We have allowed these two appeals and have set aside the June 3, 2022, order passed by the Jharkhand HC, holding that these PILs were not maintainable," the bench said.

Judgment reserved: A bench had reserved its judgment on Aug 17 on separate pleas of the Jharkhand govt and Soren against the HC's order that accepted the maintainability of the PILs.

HC restrained: The apex court had earlier restrained the HC from proceeding with the PILs seeking a probe against Soren in the mining lease issue.

What Sibal said: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the state govt, had earlier submitted that the HC had decided on maintainability even before all the documents were placed before it. 

  • Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Soren, had questioned the credentials of the PIL petitioner

ASG opinion: Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, had said criminal petitions should not be thrown out on technical grounds.

Violations: BJP national vice president and former Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das in Feb this year claimed Soren abused his position and granted himself the favour of a mining lease, an issue involving both the conflict of interest and corruption. He also alleged violations of provisions of the Representation of People Act.

Notice to Soren: Taking cognisance of the controversy, the Election Commission sent a notice to Soren in May seeking his version on the mining lease issued in his favour when he held the Mining and Environment portfolios.

Bottom line: The pleas before the Jharkhand HC had sought a probe into alleged irregularities in the grant of a mining lease as also the transactions of some shell companies allegedly linked to the CM's family members and associates.