BJP ex-MLA first politico to lose property under Bihar anti-graft law
BJP ex-MLA Sonelal Hembram, on Monday, became the first politician to have his unaccounted for assets seized under the provisions of the Bihar special courts act, 2009.india Updated: Apr 10, 2017 21:50 IST
PATNA Former BJP MLA from Katoria in Banka district in south-eastern Bihar, Sonelal Hembrom, is set to become the first politician to have his properties confiscated under the provisions of the Bihar special courts act, 2009 (act no.5 of 2010), for owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income (DA case).
A special vigilance court, on Monday, ordered the confiscation of movable and immovable assets worth Rs 7 crore (current market value) of Hembrom,who was a deputy excise commissioner in the Bihar government, before he joined politics and contested assembly poll.
A special feature of the act is that a competent authority, under certain circumstances, can order the confiscation of properties of a person accused in a disproportionate assets case even during the pendency of the trial and without waiting for its conclusion.
The move for confiscation of the properties has been made under section 13 of the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009 under which so far two housing properties of senior IAS officer SS Verma, and a treasury assistant , among others, have been confiscated and turned into schools for underprivileged children.
Hembrom becomes the first politician to have his assets confiscated.
Once the lone scheduled tribe MLA in the Bihar assembly, Hembrom had amassed these properties when he was a government servant and retired from excise department in 2002. The properties were accumulated during his service period - 1972 to 1997. Income tax officials had raided his his office and residential premises, in 1997.
Hembram's movable and immovable properties to be seized under court order include a house built in 4 katthas of land at Patna’s Patel Nagar, four plots (total 27 kattha) of land in Charari (Jharkhand) and 20 katthas in Ranchi.
The vigilance authorities had seized Rs 42,550 in cash, unearthed investment of Rs 88,000 in UTI, Rs 35,000 in Kisan Vikas Patras, gold and silver jewellery worth Rs 6.10 lakh and a car, from him.
The designated vigilance court of ADJ Vipul Sinha passed the order on an application filed by the vigilance department in 2011, praying for confiscation of Hembram's properties amassed beyond his known sources of income.
Hembram had joined the BJP after retiring from service in 2002 and was elected on its ticket to the state Assembly in 2010. The vigilance department had lodged a case against him under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, in 2000, three years after the Income Tax department raid.