Jharkhand Govt Approaches Supreme Court Apprehending HC Order For CBI Probe Against CM Hemant Soren On Sealed Cover Documents
The State of Jharkhand has approached the Supreme Court apprehending a move by the Jharkhand High Court to order CBI enquiry against Chief Minister Hemant Soren relying upon "sealed cover" documents submitted by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to grant of mining leases.
A bench led by Justice UU Lalit on Friday listed the petition before a vacation bench on next Tuesday(May 24).
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the State, submitted that a bench led by the Chief Justice of India pronounced a judgment in a case today to set aside a High Court judgment for relying upon sealed cover documents.
"I must tell your lordship. Item 1502 before CJI Bench. Just an order today, where the sealed cover was taken by the court, relied upon and orders passed. The court has set it aside saying this is unacceptable and sent it back to HC", Sibal submitted when the matter was taken.
The bench, also comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia, adjourned the hearing so that it can have the benefit of the judgment stated to have been passed by the CJI's bench.
The petition was listed today after an urgent mentioning was made by Sibal before the CJI yesterday.
Sibal had submitted that a PIL has been filed before the High Court of Jharkhand against the Chief Minister and other individuals. While the PIL has not been admitted yet, relying on some documents produced by an ED officer in a sealed cover, the Court has observed that the matter will be transferred to CBI
"The PIL is not yet admitted, ED comes and hands over sealed cover. I object to it. In these proceedings FIR isn't registered. High Court has looked at sealed cover and they've now said they'll transfer it to CBI. I've told them now I'll mention it here", Mr Sibal said yesterday.
"Somebody else filed PIL?", the bench asked.
"Yes against the CM, individuals etc. ED & CBI are also respondents. We asked how can you take these documents on record!" Mr Sibal said.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing on behalf of some other respondents before the High Court, also supported Sibal. He said that the High Court, despite being in vacation, has urgently listed the matter for hearing at 2PM (on May 19)
While submitting that sealed cover documents are being filed, which are not being not shown to the parties, Mr Rohatgi urged the bench to list the case tomorrow. Accordingly, the CJI allowed the matter to be listed today.
The PIL before the High Court has sought directions to prosecute the CM alleging that he misused his office in getting a mining lease in his own name and alleged scam using MGNREGA funds.
The Jharkhand Government has filed the special leave petition against the order passed by a High Court division bench comprising Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad. Through the impugned order, the division bench rejected the State's objection to the acceptance of the documents in sealed cover and decided to take them on record. The bench also directed the State to produce the details of 16 FIRs relating to MGNREGA scam. The bench also noted that the Mining Secretary of the State has been arrested and is under suspension.
Case Title : State of Jharkhand versus Shiv Shankar Sharma SLP(c) 9279/2022.