Mining Scam: Jharkhand High Court Holds PILs Against Hemant Soren Maintainable

The Jharkhand High Court rejected the arguments made by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi questioning the maintainability of the two PILs.

Mining Scam: Jharkhand High Court Holds PILs Against Hemant Soren Maintainable

"The writ petitions cannot be thrown away on the ground of maintainability," the court said.

Ranchi (Jharkhand):

The Jharkhand High Court has held two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) against Chief Minister Hemant Soren related to shell companies and mining lease maintainable.

The Jharkhand High Court, in its 79-page judgement, rejected the arguments made by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi questioning the maintainability of the two PILs filed against Chief Minister Hemant Soren and his associates.

The High Court in its order said that the respondent lawyers have objected to the PILs on these grounds - first, they argued the PILs have not been filed in accordance with the rules framed by the Jharkhand High Court.

Second, petitioner Shiv Shankar Sharma has not furnished the credentials, as required under Jharkhand High Court Rules. Third, the writ petitions have been filed with mala fide intention since the father of the writ petitioner was the witness in a criminal case instituted against the father of the CM, Shibu Soren, in which he was convicted by the trial court.

Fourth, the writ petitioner has directly rushed to the high court without exhausting the remedy available under the Code of Criminal Procedure. And last, since the lease has been surrendered already by the Chief Minister, there is no occasion for the continuation of this proceeding.

Rejecting the objections point-by-point, the Court has said that because some of the requirements as per Rule 4, 4-B and 5 of the Jharkhand High Court (Public Interest Litigation) Rules, 2010 have not been followed the instant writ petitions cannot be held to be not maintainable.

"This Court, after considering the aforesaid aspect of the matter and taking into consideration the fact that the issue which is the subject matter of writ petition since involves the issue of siphoning off huge public money, having the public interest at large, therefore, this Court deems it fit and proper not to throw the writ petition on that ground," stated the order copy.

In its conclusion, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad said "This Court, after having answered the issue, as framed by this Court, and on the basis of discussions made hereinabove, is summing up its view and is of the considered opinion that the writ petitions cannot be thrown away on the ground of maintainability."

The Jharkhand High Court is hearing various petitions pertaining to shell companies, the mining lease of Chief Minister Hemant Soren, and the MGNREGA scam.

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