Court orders seizure of former revenue boss’ property in Bihar

Court orders seizure of former revenue boss’ property in Bihar

Patna: A vigilance court in Bihar has ordered the confiscation of property belonging to a former Bhartiya Janata Pary (BJP) lawmaker, who is accused of amassing huge wealth disproportionate to his known sources income.

Former lawmaker Sonelal Hembrom is the first politician from the state to have his property confiscated under the new law legislated designed to tame corruption.

The designated vigilance court of Additional District Judge Vipul Sinha passed the order on Monday after the former lawmaker Sonelal Hembrom was found to have irregularly amassed assets worth Rs70 million (Dh3.98 million).

Hembrom acquired the assets while working as deputy excise commissioner in the Bihar government.

The confiscation order comes 17 years after cases of corruption were registered against him, in 2000.

The court has directed the district magistrate of Patna to execute this order within a month.

The property which will confiscated by the government includes three plots of land located in Patna and Ranchi.

Hemrom joined politics soon after his retirement from his government job in 2002.

He was elected to the Bihar assembly during the 2010 elections, on a BJP ticket.

Since then he has been with the BJP but the political affiliation proved no shield from the long arm of the law.

So far, the state government has confiscated the property of 22 corrupt officers including Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer S.S. Verma and former Director General of Police Narayan Mishra ut no politician came in the firing line.

Hembrom is the first politician to face this punishment.

Last month, the state government opened an orphanage in the confiscated bungalow of a senior government official Raghuvansh Kunwar, a motor vehicle inspector (MVI). The children cheered when they were brought to their new home. Right now, 30 orphans have been lodged there.

The ruling Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has declared a war on corruption. Under this campaign, more than 200 government officials have been fired so far while over three thousands have been arrested on graft charges in the past five years.

Recently, the anti-graft sleuths probing a disproportionate case against a senior education department official were just startled to see his love for his wife through the gifts of variety golden jewellery. During a raid conducted at the residence of the tainted official, investigators recovered as many as 230 pieces of earrings and tops, 53 finger rings, 36 bangles, 30 chains and 6 necklaces, all made of gold and weighing around 1.5kg.