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HC whip on tainted MLAs

Ranchi, Aug. 21: Jharkhand High Court today asked the state government to expedite investigations against tainted MLAs who were facing prosecution.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice P.P. Bhatt was hearing a PIL filed by Jharkhand Against Corruption, a social organisation which had highlighted the lack of progress in the cases against legislators pending before criminal courts.

Earlier, the court had ordered the government to file an affidavit detailing the status of cases against MLAs and why they were pending for adjudication.

Home secretary N. N. Padey filed the affidavit, informing the court that investigations were on in full swing against the tainted legislators.

The petitioner, however, refuted the affidavit and said that the details submitted in court were misleading. Investigation against as many as 28 MLAs were in cold storage due to their political clout, alleged the petitioner's counsel Rajeev Kumar.

Kumar alleged that MLAs Chandra Prakash Choudhary, Uma Shankar Akela, Banna Gupta, Mannan Mallick, Anant Pratap Deo, Hari Narayan Rai, Anosh Ekka, Ramdas Soren, Haji Hussain Ansari, Dipak Birua, Paulus Soren, Lobin Hembrom, Vidut Baran Mahto, Mathura Prasad Mahto, Teklal Mahto, Simon Marandi, Hemlal Murmu, Aquil Akhtar, Nalin Soren, Dhullu Mahto, Pradeep Yadav, Jai Prakash Singh Bhokta, Sanjay Kumar Singh, Sanjay Prasad Yadav, Janardan Paswan, Sita Soren, Kameshwar Baitha (a former MP) and Suresh Paswan were all involved in serious criminal cases.

The next hearing is on September 3.