Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren seems to be in hot waters as the election commission has recommended his disqualification as an MLA for violating the electoral law by assigning the mining lease to himself.
The Election Commission is said to have sent its recommendations to the Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais after a disqualification plea. The governor was the one who referred the matter to the ECI.
Soren has refuted these claims about his disqualification and said, “I was apprised of several media reports about ECI sending a report to the Jharkhand Governor ‘recommending disqualification as an MLA’. No communication in this regard has been received by CMO from either ECI or the Governor.”
The BJP has petitioned for his disqualification for violating section 9 A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which says that a person shall be disqualified if, and for so long as, there subsists a contract entered into by him in the course of his trade or business with the appropriate government for the supply of goods to, or for the execution of any works undertaken by, that government. This act deals with disqualification for government contracts.
Chief Minister had granted a granite mining lease to his brother Basant and himself. The news spread like wildfire and things got further complicated for him as he holds mining and environment portfolios.
Soren cancelled the lease on February 11th 2022, however, the court found it objectionable and directed him to file an affidavit.
The BJP argues that under Article 192 of the constitution if any question arises as to whether a member of a House of the Legislature of a state has become subject to any of the disqualifications, the question shall be referred to the governor whose decision shall be final.
The hearing of this mining lease case started earlier this month On August 12, the legal team of Soren concluded its arguments before the Election Commission following which the BJP the petitioner in the case gave a response. Both sides submitted their written response to the ECI on the 18th of August.