Tainted Meghalaya law officer to be removed


Shillong : Meghalaya’s Additional Advocate-General S.P. Mahanta, accused of land grabbing, forgery and impersonation, will not be allowed to continue in office till he is cleared by courts, Deputy Chief Minister Bindo M. Lanong said Wednesday.

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“Since Mahanta is an accused in the case, it would be unwise to allow him to continue in the office of the additional advocate-general of the state till the matter is resolved by court,” Lanong, who holds the law portfolio, said in the assembly, answering a call attention motion moved by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator James K. Sangma.

He added that some non-governmental organisations had submitted a complaint against Mahanta to Governor R. Mooshahary.

Mahanta is accused of illegally occupying a 14,285 sq ft plot in the posh Lachumiere area of the city belonging to an elderly non-resident Indian (NRI), Tushar Nath Bhatacharjee, who is based in Sydney, Australia.

However, the seven-year-old case has had only a few hearings due to the absence of either the defendant or his lawyer.

Sangma said Mahanta is accused of forging the signature of Bhatacharjee and even presenting an impostor before the sub-registrar to execute the sale deed.

“The passport clearly proves that Mr. Bhatacharjee was out of India during the period when someone was impersonated as him before the sub-registrar. Moreover, his signature was forged in the sale deed,” Sangma said.

Bhatacharjee filed a first information report (FIR) in 2005 against Mahanta, Sangma said, but his lawyer managed to get an anticipatory bail to avoid arrest.

He demanded that a person with “such background and reputation” must be removed from the prestigious position of additional advocate-general of the state immediately until the case is resolved by the high court.

Sangma said the case had dragged on for seven years and asked the government to ensure that justice was delivered expeditiously to the elderly person before long.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. This is a clear case of land grabbing and that too by a lawyer breaking the law,” Sangma said.