Aizawl, Sept 15: The main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) filed FIR against former Minister of State Lal Thanzara asking the state anti graft agency to launch probe into the resigned minister over conflict of interest case. The MNF Legal Board Chairman, J. Lalremruata Hmar on Tuesday filed FIR with Corruption Bureau (ACB) against Lal Thanzara, a former Minister of State who had recently resigned from the cabinet as well as legislator after media exposure that he held a plethora of share in a Delhi based Company Sunshine Overseas.
Mizoram Health Minister Lal Thanzara stepped down from the cabinet and quit as a legislator on 18 August in the wake of media reports and opposition charge that alleged him of holding ‘office of profit’.
Speaking to media an hour before FIR was submitted, J. Lalremruata Hmar explained the reason behind the filling of FIR saying that it was finally prompted following some vested interest who still backed the minister with false stand over his resignation.
J Lalremruata also said that the opposition youth wing MNYF in its press conference held on 6 August had appealed to Lal Thanzara to resign from his post for allegedly breaching the laws before he has been humiliatingly disqualified.
He added that despite the claim which Lal Thanzara made while addressing a political session at Congress Bhavan on 14 August that holding a share in a firm was not illegal, he eventually tendered his resignation which according to the minister was done to show himself as completely free from the allegation.
J Lalremruata Hmar, the MNF’s Legal Board chairman in whose name the FIR was filed, said, “Both Lalthanzara and the CM have said Lalthanzara’s resignation means he is ready to face a thorough investigation. We waited for them to institute an investigation, which has not happened even after lapse of one month”
“We have therefore filed the FIR, and we will now see if the Vigilance Department will give the go-ahead to the ACB to proceed with investigations and subsequently file criminal cases,” he said.
J Lalremruata also quoted Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who is the brother of Lal Thanzara as saying that the owner of HP Foods Pvt Industry is not registered with Lal Thanzara but his son Laltlanzoa and that his brother had resigned to be probed freely. “Why did the minister resign despite a claim that he was free from the allegation”, Lalremruata questioned.
The MNF’s complaint to the ACB says Lalthanzara owned as much as 21.6% of Sunshine Overseas Ltd’s shares even as he was a Parliamentary Secretary in charge of the PWD which, at the time (2009-12), allotted several construction contracts to the firm.
The opposition party also pointed out that HP Foods, a company owned by Lalthanzara, has also been supplying “high-protein” biscuits to the government while the party he belongs to continues to be in power.
The party’s FIR has invoked various provisions of section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, which deals with “criminal misconduct by a public servant”.