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SC Deliberates on Legality of Hemant Soren’s Arrest Amid Bail Rejection

The Supreme Court’s interim bail hearing for former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, aimed at facilitating his participation in Lok Sabha election campaigning, concluded without a decisive verdict. Soren has been in custody since January 31, 2024, in connection with a money laundering case. The Court, comprising Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma, highlighted the complexity of the matter, noting Soren’s previous bail rejections and the trial court’s cognisance of the case.

Despite arguments from Soren’s counsel, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, and the suggestion to postpone proceedings until after court vacations, the bench opted to reconvene on May 22. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) emphasized the prima facie evidence against Soren and cautioned against setting a precedent by granting interim bail. Sibal countered, contesting the legality of Soren’s arrest and the adequacy of evidence. As the court deliberates, the case raises significant questions about judicial intervention in arrest challenges post-cognisance orders.