Guwahati: The Special Judge H T C Lalrinchhana convicted C Lalfakawma, a Junior Engineer (JE) of the Mizoram Public Works Department (PWD) in connection with a corruption case.
The JE was convicted under section 409 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under section 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on Monday.
He was sentenced to 4 years in jail and fined Rs 2 lakh.
The sentence was announced on Tuesday.
The special court sentenced Lalfakawma to 2 years in jail and a fine of Rs 1 lakh under section 409 of the IPC. He was also sentenced to 4 years in jail and a fine of Rs 1 lakh under section 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (a) of the PC Act, 1988. However, the sentences will run concurrently. This means that he will only have to serve 4 years in jail.
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The court also ordered that the period of detention that Lalfakawma had already undergone in judicial custody be set off against the sentence.
Lalfakawma was arrested in May 2020 after a deputy secretary of the PWD submitted a complaint to the Mizoram Lokayukta alleging that he had taken illegal money from contractors while he was posted at Khawzawl Sub-Division.
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The Lokayukta directed the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate the complaint. The ACB found that Lalfakawma had taken Rs 17 lakh from a contractor who was constructing a PMGSY road between Rabung and Aiduzawl and maintenance for 5 years. He had also taken Rs 3 lakh from a sub-contractor.
The contractor and sub-contractor were declared hostile witnesses by the prosecution, but they admitted to the transactions in their statements to the ACB.
The court held that Lalfakawma had abused his position as a public servant and had dishonestly misappropriated the money. He was also convicted of criminal breach of trust.
The court’s decision is a welcome step in the fight against corruption in Mizoram. It sends a strong message that corrupt public servants will be brought to justice.
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