Shell Companies Case: Jharkhand Challenges High Court Order In Supreme Court

Jharkhand government filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court.

Ranchi (Jharkhand):

Jharkhand government on Friday filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court challenging the state High Court’s order on the maintainability of PIL in connection with shell companies allegedly related to state Chief Minister Hemant Soren and his associates.

The state High Court on June 3 held two PILs against the Chief Minister and rejected the arguments made by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi (questioning the maintainability of the two PILs filed against CM and his associates) in its 79-page judgement.

In its order, the HC had stated that the respondent lawyers have objected to the PILs on the grounds – first, they argued that 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 had 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 and 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 it 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 had been hearing various petitions pertaining to shell companies, the mining lease of Chief Minister Soren and the MGNREGA scam.

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