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HC asked to decide on maintainability of PIL for probe against Hemant Soren

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Jharkhand High Court, which is hearing a PIL seeking investigation against Chief Minister Hemant Soren for alleged irregularities in the grant of mining leases and also on transactions of some shell companies purportedly operated by his family members and associates, to first hear preliminary objections on the maintainability of the petition.

A vacation bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi noted that the high court had itself in its order of May 13 said it would first decide the maintainability of the PIL filed by one Shiv Kumar Sharma and then it will go into the merit of the allegations levelled in the petition.

We are of the considered view that the high court would first deal with the preliminary objections on the maintainability of the writ petition and based on the outcome it would then proceed further in accordance with law , the bench said.

The top court also made it clear that it has not made any observation with regard to the merit of the case and has not dealt with the allegations made in the petition. The Jharkhand government has moved the top court against the orders of the high court. At the outset, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Jharkhand government, said that PIL petitioner Sharma has suppressed material facts that he has been filing several PILs against the Chief Minister.

He referred to the 2010 rules of Jharkhand High Court on PILs and said that this petition of Sharma should not have been entertained by the High Court as there was no full disclosure of previous litigations but instead, it has ordered to implead registrar of companies, Ministry of Corporate Affairs as respondents.

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