Mizoram ADC chief granted interim bail

Mizoram ADC chief granted interim bail

MIZORAM:The Aizawl bench of Gauhati High Court today granted interim bail to the Mizoram's Lai Autonomous District Council's chief executive member V Zirsanga and four others in a graft case involving about Rs 1.5 crores, a day after lower court denied them anticipatory bail.

Justice M R Pathak of the High Court bench granted interim bail to the five accused and fixed August 4 for the next hearing, a day after the court of Aizawl district & sessions judge rejected their anticipatory bail petition yesterday after the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) officials pleaded that the investigation against the accused was hampered as many witnesses were turning hostile.

Today, the accused were released on a bail bond of Rs 50,000 each and were restrained from leaving the southern Mizoram's Lawngtlai district where the autonomous district council is seated.

Zirsanga, a Congress politician, and the four others including the district education officer, a high school teacher attached as cashier to his office and two teachers who head a teachers' association in the district council were accused of amassing education department fund to the tune of Rs 1.5 crores. According to the state Anti Corruption Bureau that investigates the case, they did this by issuing fake pay certificates for 41 teachers, drawing salaries of some teachers more than once while apparently pocketing the salaries of several others.

Yesterday, the district court also cancelled the interim bail it earlier granted to them. The district & sessions judge Lucy Lalrinthari in her order said she is "convinced that investigation may suffer if pre-arrest bail is granted to the accused persons".

Inspector F Engkunga, the investigating officer, had told the court on Tuesday "the accused are influential persons, political leaders and high ranking officials and the prosecution witnesses are living in the same locality together with them".

Noting the IO's statement, the Wednesday's court order had said: "He (the IO) already experienced that the prosecution witnesses whose statements were recorded during inquiry already made changes in their statements and they are less enthusiastic to give information and suspect that investigations are hampered if the applicants are at large."

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