Relief in disproportionate assets case: Shibu Soren gets Delhi HC notice, told to respond in 2 weeks

The Delhi High Court on Friday heard an application filed by Nishikant Dubey, BJP Lok Sabha MP from Godda in Jharkhand, against a stay order passed in favour of JMM president Shibu Soren in connection with the Lokpal proceedings against him.

A single judge bench of Justice Yashwant Varma has asked Soren to respond to the application within two weeks and listed the matter for hearing on November 10.

Dubey is a respondent in Soren’s plea before the High Court.

The application states that the petitioner (Soren) had misled the court by filing the writ petition before the High Court. The HC, in its September 12 order, had noted arguments of the petitioner, which read: “It is pointed out by… senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, that barring two instances, all other allegations would fall foul of the injunct placed by Section 53. Insofar as the two other instances are concerned, those properties are not stated to have been acquired or held by the petitioner.”

The Lokpal had directed a preliminary inquiry under provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, and called for an inquiry report from the CBI.

The applicant has challenged this statement of the petitioner, claiming the two properties were acquired in the name of the petitioner’s family members. The application states that the said properties are included in the list of properties as part of the preliminary report issued by the CBI in July 2021. The application further argues that the burden is upon the petitioner to prove that the excess wealth acquired by him is not from any unscrupulous and dishonest means.

On September 12, the HC had stayed the proceedings initiated by Lokpal of India against Soren on the basis of a complaint alleging he has amassed huge wealth and assets by “adopting unscrupulous and corrupt means” in Jharkhand. The court had said that the matter requires consideration and till the next date of listing, there shall be a “stay of further proceedings pending before” the Lokpal.

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