Refusing to go for questioning following summons by the Enforcement Directorate, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said the call by the agency was “actuated by malice” and is part of a political conspiracy to destabilise a democratically elected government. Soren wrote to the agency Monday to withdraw the summons, failing which he would seek legal remedies.
Soren wrote that he had been called to record a statement about the properties “owned, possessed and occupied” by him and the source through which those were acquired. However, he called out on ED, stating that it was “not surprising” that the summons does not contain any “information or particulars of the investigation or proceeding in connection with which details of his properties were required”.
Soren was replying to the second summons issued by the ED over allegations of money laundering. In November last year, he had been summoned by the agency in connection with an alleged illegal mining case in Sahibganj, in which the ED pegged a loss of Rs 1,000 crore to the exchequer. However, on the day of his appearance, Soren had taken on the ED through a letter.
In his latest letter to the ED, Soren wrote that the summons on August 14 was “deliberate and part of the design to besmirch his reputation”. He added that central agencies have been targeting him for over a year only because he is not aligned with the political party which is in power at the Centre.
He said that during the last round of questioning, he provided details of movable and immovable properties owned by him and his family members along with certified copies of the title deeds and his bank accounts. He also brought the issue of CBI conducting an inquiry on his father Shibu Soren.
“However, in the course of such enquiry, the CBI has wrongfully and illegally carried out an inquiry into the immovable assets owned by the undersigned. It may be in your interests to obtain a report from CBI on the undersigned’s immovable assets, if you have not done so already,” Soren wrote to the ED.
Soren added that all immovable assets owned and possessed by him are “licit” and have been acquired with funds declared in the returns filed by him to the I-T department. “These returns have been accepted by the appropriate authority and the Enforcement Directorate is now seeking to wrongfully reopen the same,” he wrote.