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14 May 2013 Written by 

Meghalaya to remove Additional Advocate General in land grabbing case


Meghalaya to remove Additional Advocate General in land grabbing case

Meghalaya government would remove Additional Advocate General S P Mahanta after a local court last week indicted him in a land-grab case in the city.

Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh on Tuesday said the law department and the political department were scrutinising the order of the court and the additional advocate general would be removed soon.

S P Mahanta today called on Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his deputy to present his side of the story.

"Mahanta came to present his side of the story to me. He did the same with the chief minister and Law Secretary (L M Sangma)," Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh told PTI.

The senior government lawyer pleaded 'not guilty' to him but, Lyngdoh said, "We do not want shady characters to defend the government in legal matters."

"I have asked the law secretary to examine the matter carefully before we can take a decision (on removing Mahanta from his post)," Lyngdoh said.

To a query, Mahanta only said he would not resign.

Sources close to him said he was likely to appeal against the verdict of the Chief Judicial Magistrate's court.

CJM Baphindalin Giri on May 6 reversed and set aside a trial court order which was passed in Mahanta's favour last year.

The CJM order said the owners were entitled to get back possession of the land.

The case was filed by an NRI, T N Bhattacharjee, alleging that Mahanta forged his signature to grab a 14,285 sq ft plot in Lower Lachumiere, a prime location here.

After the case came to the focus of the public in 2011, the government asked Mahanta to resign which he did.

But when Assistant deputy commissioner Febroneus Silkam Sangma gave his ruling in favour of Mahanta in February 10 last year, he was reinstated.

Leading women NGO leader Agnes Kharshiing demanded that Mahanta be dropped stating that the government could not appoint a tainted lawyer to a top post.

 



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