Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's custody to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was extended for five days by a PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court in Ranchi on Wednesday (7 February).
Soren was arrested in the late night on 31 January night. He was sent to one-day judicial custody by a special PMLA court in Ranchi the next day, which was further extended to five days on 2 February after the Supreme Court's decision.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader was arrested in a land scam case after the ED alleged of a "huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia" taking place in Jharkhand.
The agency has previously arrested 14 individuals in connection with the case, including Chhavi Ranjan, a 2011-batch Indian Administrative Service officer who previously served as the director of the state social welfare department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi.
However, Soren refutes these allegations and said in assembly during Champai Soren's trust vote, "Today I have been arrested on charges of 8.5 acre land scam. If they have the courage, then show the documents of the land registered in Hemant Soren's name. If it is proved, I will quit politics.".
Subsequently, new Jharkhand CM Champai Soren was able to win the trust vote as the ruling alliance of JMM-Congress secured a total of 47 votes, including the support of a nominated member, in the 81-member house.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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