Delhi HC suspends Shibu Soren’s prosecution by the Lokpal in the DA matter

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Shibu Soren, a Rajya Sabha member of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), had his appeal against the Lokpal regarding disproportionate assets (DA) postponed by the Delhi High Court on Monday.

The Lokpal and Nishikant Dubey, the petitioner in the case and a member of Parliament (MP) for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), were given notice by Justice Yashwant Varma. The matter will be heard by the court on December 14.

The court halted the proceedings until the next hearing date after stating that the topic needed to be considered.

On the grounds of jurisdiction, the leader of JMM and former chief minister of Jharkhand has contested the proceedings and order of the Lokayukta ordering the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary investigation.

On August 4, 2022, the Lokpal was given instructions to begin the process of establishing whether there is enough evidence to move forward against him.

As the complaint was lodged more than seven years after the alleged incident, and Section 53 of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013 prohibits such investigations after the statute of limitations has run out, the plea contended that this order was made without taking Soren’s objection into account.

The complaint was filed with the Lokpal in response to a complaint dated August 5, 2020, and although the CBI launched a preliminary investigation into Soren, his wife, and their children sometime in July 2021, the petition claimed that the petitioner was not given a copy of the complaint until the end of February 2022.

Soren also contested the Lokpal’s ruling from September 2020, which instructed the CBI to investigate Soren and provide a report.

According to the accusations made against Soren, he amassed enormous fortune, properties, and assets over a period of more than ten years in the state of Jharkhand by using dishonest and corrupt methods.

The assets, according to the allegations, are not just in his name but also in the names of his family, including sons, daughters, and a daughter-in-law, friends, and several firms in different Jharkhand districts, including Ranchi, Dhanbad, and Dumka, among others.