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Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren (Photo/ANI)
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren (Photo/ANI)

Mining lease row: CM Soren says PIL moved to destabilise Govt

ANI | Updated: May 08, 2022 05:42 IST

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], May 8 (ANI): In an affidavit filed before the Jharkhand High Court on Friday, Chief Minister Hemant Soren explained his stand on mining lease controversy.
Soren said that the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed to destabilise the government.
"I say and submit that the present writ petition has been filed out of personal animosity and at the behest of my political rivals with the ulterior motive and malafide intent maligning me and destabilizing the government of which I am the Chief Minister," stated the preliminary affidavit submitted by him. Hemant Soren is the respondent number seven in the petition.
A petition was filed in February by Shiv Shankar Sharma on granting of stone chips mining lease to Soren in Ranchi. The petitioner had approached the High Court for an appropriate direction to prosecute the Chief Minister saying Soren had misused his office in getting the mining lease in his own name. Soren holds the mining and environment portfolio.
"I am advised to state that my act of obtaining a mining lease does not entail my disqualification as a member of the Legislative Assembly under any law and I reserve my rights to make further submissions in law on this aspect at the time of hearing through counsel, if necessary," added CM through affidavit.

In the same matter, Soren has been issued a notice from Election Commission of India seeking his reply that why he should not be disqualified. Soren has to send his reply by May 10.
Soren has given the full detail of the said lease.
"...the mining lease was granted to me for a period of 10 years on May 17, 2008. I had applied for renewal of this lease in 2018 but the application lapsed. When the Deputy Commissioner of the district invited fresh applications for the said mining lease sometime in 2021, I applied to his office. The lease was granted in my favour after I had duly complied with the procedure prescribed in the Jharkhand Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 2004 as amended from time to time. Consent to Operate of the subject mining lease was not obtained and on 4th February 2022, I had applied for surrender of the subject lease before commencing any extraction and the same was subsequently accepted upon payment of the prescribed fees."
He also claimed that the petitioner Sharma and his family harbour personal enmity towards his family (Soren's family) for more than two decades and his petition is devoid of any public interest.
Soren further added that present petition and allegations contained in the petition submitted by the BJP are similar and the handiwork of the same person.
"It is obvious that the controlling mind behind the petition to the governor and the present writ petition filed before the court is the same."
A bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad, while hearing the matter for the first time April 8, had said that it was "a serious matter" and had issued a notice to Soren. (ANI)