Former Meghalaya Congress legislator arrested in land scam

Shillong, Jan 25 (IANS) Former Congress legislator, Stanlywiss Rymbai was arrested on Wednesday by the CID in a land acquisition for afforestation scam in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district.

Rymbai was later produced before a court here and sent to judicial custody for medical treatment after he complained of ill-health to the judge, a CID official told IANS.

The arrested Congress leader, who is now admitted in Shillong Civil hospital for medical treatment, has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Rymbai had received Rs 8 crore from the government for acquiring land measuring 1.78 sq. Km, which was otherwise government land under the Soil and Water Conservation Department at Mawpalai village with a view to providing environmental amelioration to the degraded forest areas.

In a 2015 report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said that the Forest and Environment Department had paid Rs 8 crore to Rymbai, who claimed to be the self-styled rightful representative of the Mawpalai Village Dorbar and acted as the landowner without any valid and legal authorisation by the village council to the effect.

In fact, the state government had filed a case in November 2012 in connection with fraudulent payment of government money to Rymbai.

The Meghalaya High Court, which disposed off the writ petition in February 2014, had directed the government to file a recovery suit before the appropriate court. Accordingly, a money suit for recovery of RsA 8 crore was filed in June 2014 in the court of Assistant District and Sessions Judge at Nongpoh.

–IANS

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