Aizawl, Nov 5: Following the FIR lodged on 15 September over the allegation of conflict of interest and holding plethora of share in a construction company against former Mizoram Health Minister and Chief minister Lal Thanhawla’s younger brother, Lal Thanzara, state Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has launched criminal investigation against the tainted former minister, opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) legal board chairman J Lalremruata Hmar today said.
Speaking to media in a press conference here, Hmar said that the anti graft agency has registered preliminary inquiry case no 11 of 2015 and recorded complainant statement against Lal Thanzara.
He added that the statement of tainted Lal Thanzara’s companion Sanjay Chowkhani who is the owner of Sunshine Overseas, a company that worked various contracts worth crores of rupees under state PWD has also been recorded by the ACB.
Hmar alleged that Lalthanzara owned 21.6 per cent of shares in Sunshine Overseas Ltd and the construction company is left with many unexecuted contracts involving crore of rupees in different parts of state.
Although Lal Thanzara had transferred the ownership of H P Foods which supplied over Rs 22 crore worth of high protein biscuits to the state social welfare department while holding the posts of parliamentary secretary and minister of state, he was breaching the law, Hmar added.
“The former Health Minister of Mizoram committed offences punishable under section 13 (i) (d) (ii) and (iii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for which FIR had been lodged with the ACB on 15 September”, he said.
Taking a jibe at Lal Thanzara, Hmar said the former resigned from the cabinet as he dared not face legal punishment for violating the law. “The former minister of state could be disqualified according to Chapter III Sec 9A of Representation of People Act, 1951 for allegedly holding plethora of share in a company (office of profit) while he was still a minister and not being courage enough to face legal action he resigned from the cabinet as well as a legislator”, he said.
Slamming the two brothers Lal Thanhawla and Lal Thanzara, MNF legal board chairman said that due to undue favor and mutual understanding between them the younger brother Lal Thanzara acted like the de facto chief Minister of Mizoram. “Lal Thanzara was given the portfolio of parliamentary secretary after 2008 assembly election and in 2013 he was promoted to cabinet minister with additional charge for PWD. Nothing ill was spoken about him as he was treated like chief minister although he did not hold such office in practice”, he added.
Hmar also hit out at Congress as invoking dynastic rule in the state.
On the statement by the Chief Minister that his brother would be vindicated by the people’s court, Hmar said “Criminal cases are never tried in the people’s court through votes but in the courts of law.”
He said MNF legal board would continue to take up the graft case even if Lal Thanzara is re-elected in the by-polls.