The Supreme Court on Friday (2 February) refused to interfere with the arrest of former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren by the Enforcemtn Directorate (ED) on alleged money laundering charges.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, M M Sundresh, and Bela M Trivedi asked Soren to approach the Jharkhand High Court first.
"Why has he not approached the High Court. Why here (Supreme Court) directly?," Justice Khanna asked.
"We are dealing with a Chief Minister," said Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal, who was appearing on behalf of Soren.
"Courts are open to everybody. If we allow one person, then we have to allow everybody," said Justice Khanna.
The Court then made it clear that it is not inclined to entertain the plea and that Soren should moved the High Court first.
"Please go to the High Court, we will not interfere," Justice Khanna underlined.
Earlier, Soren had filed a plea in the High Court but had later withdrawn it to move the Supreme Court.
"We are not inclined to entertain the present petition under Article 32. We leave it open to approach the jurisdictional High Court under Article 226. We are informed that a plea was filed before the High Court and is still pending. Thereafter another plea was filed under Article 226 which was later withdrawn. Open to petitioner to amend the petition," the Supreme Court ordered, Bar and Bench reported.
Hemant Soren was arrested late Wednesday (31 January) night by the ED. He was sent to one-day judicial custody by a special PMLA court in Ranchi on Thursday (1 February), which was extended to five days today after the Supreme Court's decision.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!