Lawyer fighting PIL against Jharkhand CM Soren arrested in Kolkata
A lawyer fighting two PILs against Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was arrested in Kolkata on Sunday. The Kolkata Police booked Rajiv Kumar for allegedly duping people of Rs. 50 lakh. Kumar was fighting petitions against CM Soren related to two issues- mining lease and allegations of shell companies. His arrest came hours after three Jharkhand Congress MLAs were booked by Kolkata Police.
Why does this story matter?
Soren is currently under the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged money laundering in connection with an illegal mining case. Soren's links with shell companies and money laundering under the PMLA are also being investigated by the ED. Alleged financial irregularities in MNREGA implementation also led to the arrest of the state's mining secretary Pooja Singhal and Soren's aide Pankaj Mishra.
Jharkhand's 'PIL man' arrested
Kumar, known as Jharkhand's 'PIL man' was taken from a mall in central Kolkata, Indian Express reported. The Kolkata Police have reportedly recovered money from him, and are looking out for his accomplices. He is fighting two petitions on behalf of Shiv Shankar Sharma against CM Soren. Kumar also fought against the CM in MNREGA financial irregularities case.
Kumar arrested with Rs. 50 lakh cash
More about Kumar's petitions
Kumar is currently fighting two petitions against the CM. In the first, Soren has been accused of granting himself a mining lease when he was the state Mining minister. The second one alleges that Soren is linked to shell companies and involved in money laundering.
What are the allegations against the lawyer?
As per The New Indian Express, Kumar was fighting a PIL in Ranchi High Court against a Kolkata-based businessman. He allegedly demanded Rs. 10 crore to withdraw the petition, and settled on Rs. 1 crore as the final amount. As per reports, he was found with the first installment of Rs. 50 lakh on Sunday. Kumar has reportedly filed more than 600 petitions.
3 Jharkhand Congress MLAs arrested
Kumar was arrested in Kolkata a day after three Jharkhand Congress MLAs were found with ounces of cash in their cars. The MLAs have been arrested, and CID will be taking over the case with immediate effect. The police have recovered almost Rs. 50 lakh from the vehicles of MLAs Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap, and Naman Kongari. Congress has suspended all three MLAs.
Congress MLA blames Assam CM
Another Congress MLA from Jharkhand, Kumar Jaimangal, has filed a complaint stating that the three MLAs "planned to topple the Jharkhand government at the behest of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma." However, Sarma retorted that all state MLAs are in touch with him on a "daily basis". He further stated that the FIR was filed "under duress".