ECI asks Jharkhand CM to explain mining lease issued in his favour

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The Election Commission of India on Monday sent a notice to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, asking him to explain why action should not be initiated against him for having a mining lease issued in his favour.
 
ECI asks Jharkhand CM to explain mining lease issued in his favour

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The Election Commission of India on Monday sent a notice to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, asking him to explain why action should not be initiated against him for having a mining lease issued in his favour.

The ECI has observed that prima-facie, he has violated Section 9A of the Representation of People's Act. The section deals with disqualification of government contracts.

Last month, the Commission had contacted the Chief Secretary of Jharkhand and asked ng him to authenticate the documents related to the lease allotment.

The Commission has already started examining documents running 500 pages along with the details furnished to it by the Jharkhand government in the last week of April in connection with a stone mining lease allotted to Soren by the state authorities.

Section 9A of the Act says that a person shall be disqualified if, and for so long as, there subsists a contract entered into by him in the course of his trade or business with the appropriate government for the supply of goods to, or for the execution of any works undertaken by, that government.

On April 28, Jharkhand Chief Secretary had submitted a set of documents related to the mining lease to the poll panel.

The ECI will examine the reply of the notice sent to Soren before taking a final view on the matter and sending the same to Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais.

Bais had recently referred the matter to the ECI under Article 192 of the Constitution. The provision authorises the Governor to make a decision on disqualification of an elected member based on the EC's opinion.

--IANS

ams/arm