Sinlung /
03 September 2012

Mizoram Court Faces Anti-Corruption Heat

Aizawl, Sep 3
: A large number of people are expected to gather in front of Vanapa Hall here today to witness a hearing on the controversial bail pleas of the three accused in the Serkhan-Bagha road multi-crore scam at the special court nearby.

According to Prism, 16 organisations and six political parties have confirmed their participation at the 'Anti Corruption Rally that will start from 1100 hours. "We don't have any intention to create any law and order problem or disturbance to the court's proceedings.

We will just stand and wait for the court's verdict on their bail pleas," said Vanlalruata, president of the corruption watchdog and organiser of the rally.

The special court under Prevention of Corruption Act had granted interim bails on medical ground to PWD engineer-in-chief Lianchungnunga, assistant-cum-accountant B Lalthanpuia and retired engineer-in-chief C Liansanga on August 17, the day they were arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau in the graft case.

The trio, according to Prism president, "suddenly fell ill" after they were arrested and obtained backdated medical certificates from three government doctors who stated that they were critically ill and needed "bed rest."

Alleging that the medical certificates were fake, Prism had filed FIRs against the three doctors a few days back, demanding appropriate action taken against them under sections 193 and 197 of IPC.

"The accused did not possess medical certificates at the time of their bail applications. However, they managed to get one from the doctors backdated on August 16," he said.

Moreover, two of the accused, the E-in-C and the assistant, were found attending offices the days after despite that they needed "bed rest." The doctors too have been granted anticipatory bails, the day after FIRs were lodged against them.

"The point is they were not actually ill. Therefore, it they are granted bail on medical ground, we will jump to the conclusion that they are released based on fake medical certificates," Prism president said.

He also strongly felt that the court questions the veracity of the medical certificates. The non suspension of the engineer-in-chief and the assistant has drawn criticisms from Prism, the co-complainant Hmarphei Zirlai Pawl (students union of northern region), and like-minded organisations like Sosa (Society for Social Action).

"Top officials, charged with corruption case, have great chances of tampering the investigation. In the present case, the officials should have been suspended at the beginning of the investigation," said retired IAS officer and Soso president S L Sailova.

The two officials, along with the retired PWD engineer-in-chief, were implicated in the alleged swindling crores of rupees in the construction of Serkhan (Mizoram)-Bagha (Assam) road, against which students' union of the area filed an FIR in 2009.

The state PWD received Rs 600.50 lakh from the 12th Finance Commission, and additional Rs 75 lakh from the North Eastern Council and Rs 100.86 lakh from the state plan fund for resurfacing works on the 75-km Serkhan (Mizoram)-Bagha (Assam) road.

After inspection, the students' union found that only 12 kilometres of the road were resurfaced despite the PWD's claims that 100 percent of the works were done.

The PWD later claimed that the fund was diverted for other "more important" projects, which however were rubbished by Prism.

"In an RTI information, the PWD had claimed to have spent the entire fund for completion of the works. The diversion claim that came later was just a lame excuse," Vanlalruata said.


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