The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is learnt to have issued on Friday a third summons to Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren in an alleged money-laundering case pertaining to a land scam.
The summons issued by the Ranchi zonal office of the ED has asked the chief minister to join in the investigation into the money-laundering case on September 9 at the Ranchi office.
Soren is currently in Mumbai attending the INDIA bloc meeting.
There was no confirmation of receipt of the summons from either the chief minister’s secretariat or the ED office.
However, sources in the ED Ranchi office admitted that the third summons had been issued.
“The CM had informed on August 24 that he had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the ED summons. However, the Supreme Court has not taken up hearing of the petition and legally we can issue summons,” said the source.
According to legal experts in the Jharkhand advocate-general office, the ED can continue to send summons till the Supreme Court takes up a hearing of the chief minister’s petition and passes a decision. The ED can also pray for an arrest warrant or attachment of properties in the special ED court in Ranchi if the chief minister fails to attend the third summons and there is no order from the Supreme Court on the chief minister’s petition.
“We expect the Supreme Court to take up hearing in the petition of the chief minister in mid-September and things will be clear by then,” said a senior advocate at the AG office in Ranchi.
The ED has on August 7 issued its first summons to the chief minister to join their investigation on August 14 and again in the second summons asked Soren to join the probe on August 24.
Soren, through a special messenger on August 24, had informed in a letter addressed to the assistant director of the ED Ranchi office, Deovrat Jha, that he challenged the ED summons in the Supreme Court and would not be able to attend the summons.