In response to a case filed against him for possessing a mining lease in Angara block in Ranchi district while holding the Mining portfolio, the Jharkhand High Court issued a notice to Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Friday.
While hearing the case on Friday, a bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad stated that “a serious concern” had been presented before the court and directed that a notice be issued to respondent number seven, Hemant Soren.
Shiv Shankar Sharma, represented by Advocate Rajeev Kumar, filed a plea in February challenging the granting of a stone chips mining concession in Ranchi last year. According to the petition, the High Court has been asked to issue an “appropriate directive to punish the Chief Minister (Hemant Soren),” who is also the Minister of Mines, because he “misused” his office in obtaining the mining lease in his own name.
Soren received a 0.88-acre lease in Ranchi’s Angara block, according to the petition, and a Letter of Intent was granted by the Ranchi District Mining Office on June 16, 2021. According to the petition, Soren sought for environmental clearance of the mine on September 9 and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority granted it on September 18. Soren is also the Minister of the Environment and Forests.
Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan acknowledged during Friday’s session that the state had made “a mistake” and that the lease had since been “surrendered.” He assured the court that the state would file a lengthy affidavit outlining its position in this case.
In the same instance, advocate Rajeev Kumar has filed an interlocutory application to secure his safety after being threatened for submitting the petition. Kumar said in his appeal that Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan told him that some persons were plotting to “destroy him both by killing him with contract assassins and ruining his property with local officers.” This occurred following the filing of a public interest lawsuit.
The High Court heard his plea and asked Ranjan for a response, which he provided, saying, “This petition has been filed to scandalise the situation.” “Be that as it may,” the court said, “let a counter-affidavit be prepared.”