A fresh row has erupted in Jharkhand after the State cabinet, in a significant move on Tuesday, January 9, issued guidelines to the State Government employees wherein they have been asked not to furnish information that is sought by the central agencies.
The decision came in the wake of recent summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to Chief Minister, Hemant Soren and a number of state government officials in separate cases, including the cases pertaining to Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Reacting sharply to the development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President of the Jharkhand unit, Babu Lal Marandi in a quick response to Chief Minister Hemant Soren, has now questioned the constitutional validation of the government’s move.
The BJP stalwart from Jharkhand, in a long post on social media platform X, while questioning the meaning of the external probe agencies, said that “agencies like Interpol or FBI are not investigating your scams.”
“Bharat is a country of federal structure where the centre and the state possess certain exclusive rights and the central agencies can probe corruption anywhere in the country; the attack on the federal structure could lead to consequences,” wrote Marandi on X.
बाहर की जांच एजेंसी क्या होता है, हेमंत जी?
इंटरपोल, FBI आपके घोटालों की जांच थोड़े कर रही है…
भारत संघीय शासन व्यवस्था वाला देश है, जहां केंद्र और राज्य दोनों को कुछ विशेषाधिकार प्राप्त हैं। केंद्रीय जांच एजेंसियां देश में कहीं भी भ्रष्टाचार की जांच कर सकती हैं ।
— Babulal Marandi (@yourBabulal) January 10, 2024
The country runs on the federal constitution, where the order of the court is applicable to all; your illogical opinion cannot change the law, read the rough translation of Marandi’s tweet further.
The remarks of the opposition leader came hours after the Jharkhand cabinet on Tuesday, January 9 directed all the state government departments not to deal with notices issued by the central agencies or hand over any documents directly to the agencies.
According to the reports, the State Government, in the guidelines approved on Tuesday, made it mandatory for the officials to inform the Cabinet Secretariat and Vigilance Department through departmental heads about any such notices issued by the central investigative agencies.
The Jharkhand Government’s move has come at a time when the political galleries of the state is already buzzing with the speculation of a change of guard at the top level.
It is to be noted that earlier, Jharkhand’s CM, Hemant Soren, was also issued a ‘last opportunity’ by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to record his statement in an alleged land scam to which the CM replied to the agency, labelling the summons illegal.
According to the reports, Soren had written to the ED in response to the summons issued to him, stating that the summons are ‘illegal.’ He had also accused ED of making the media trial of the whole matter. In his reply, he also clarified that he had already given the details of the properties.
The ED had issued the seventh summons to the Jharkhand CM under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, after he opted to skip all the six previous summons issued by the central agency.