Uncertainty looms large over Hemant Soren’s continuation as Jharkhand Chief Minister

Section 9(A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951: Hemant Soren's future as  Jharkhand Chief Minister  is in doubt since the governor is likely to disqualify him from serving in the legislative assembly.


  • The Governor of Jharkhand Ramesh Bias may decide on Election Commission's view on “disqualification” of Chief Minister Hemant Soren as an MLA, amid the rapidly changing political scenario in the state.
  • According to reports, the Indian Election Commission (ECI) informed the Governor that the Chief Minister needed to be "disqualified" since he had broken multiple electoral laws.
  • ECI found Hemant Soren to be in violation of the office of profit in its findings.
  • The Jharkhand CM violated Section 9A of the 1951 People's Representative Act
  • Regarding this matter, Hemant Soren has the option of going to Ranchi High Court or filing a petition in the Supreme Court.
  • Once an appeal is filed in a court, it will give Soren a breather and he will be able to continue till the verdict comes. 
  • However, looking at past precedents, courts don't usually pass stay orders on disqualification by ECI.

About the matter:

  • The case against him stems from a mining lease that he issued to himself in 2021 while serving as the minister of mines.
  • On February 11, 2022, the BJP had complained to the Governor on February 11, 2022, that this act was in violation of Section 9(A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • On August 25, the ECI wrote to the Governor that Mr. Soren could be disqualified under Section 9(A).
  • The awarding of a mining lease to himself was a brazen act of self-service, misuse of office and breach of people’s trust.
  • Soren has since surrendered the mining lease.

Section 9A in The Representation of the People Act, 1951:

  • Section 9A in The Representation of the People Act, 1951 deals with Disqualification for Government contracts, etc.
  • The clause states 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."

Article 192 of the Indian Constitution:

Under Article 192 of the Constitution, the rulings regarding an MLA's disqualification shall be referred to the Governor of the state, who in turn "shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion".

Leaders Caught in Office of Profit Trap:

  • There are many cases of the Office of Profit in Indian political history.
  • Many people have been forced to resign for the same reason.

In 2006, two prominent leaders resigned after allegations of office of profit surfaced. One was Jaya Bachchan and the other was Sonia Gandhi.

  • Jaya Bachchan was barred from joining the Rajya Sabha for holding an "office of profit."
  • While she was a Rajya Sabha MP, she also held the office of Chairperson of the UP Film Development Council, which triggered a political slugfest.
  • Sonia Gandhi resigned from her Lok Sabha membership in 2006. This was while the ECI was considering a petition against her.
  • It was alleged that Mrs. Gandhi, inspite of being a Lok Sabha MP, she was also the chairpersonship of the National Advisory Council (NAC).
  • Sonia Gandhi, on the other hand, had resigned from both positions (LS MP and Chairperson of NAC) prior to the ECI decision.

In 2018, the EC recommended disqualification of 20 AAP legislators for holding 'office of profit'.