Troubles for Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Sonelal Hembrum in Bihar is likely to escalate with the state vigilance bureau filing a petition in the special vigilance court seeking permission to confiscate his property in a corruption case, officials said on Saturday.
The BJP MLA from the Katoria assembly seat and the lone tribal legislator in the state assembly, retired as the deputy commissioner of state excise department in 2002.
It's to be noted here that BJP is a coalition partner in the ruling alliance headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal-United.
The court has fixed the next date of hearing in the case on April 17, officials added.
The state vigilance department lodged a case against Hembrum for allegedly amassing assets including property valued at over Rs 24 lakh during his official tenure. Vigilance had raided his
residence in 1997 and then lodged a case against him.
An official in the vigilance department said that this is the first time in Bihar when an official-turned-politician's assets would be confiscated.
"For the first time, the government has initiated a move to confiscate the property of any elected representative in a disproportionate assets case," official said.
Till date, the vigilance court has ordered confiscation of property of five bureaucrats, including former Director General of Police Narayan Mishra.
Bihar government had also confiscated the houses of an Indian
Administrative Service officer, Shiv Shankar Verma, and a treasury clerk, Girish Kumar.
Proceedings to confiscate properties of some more officials, including former drug controller Y K Jaiswal, revenue officer Yogendra Prasad Singh, engineer Srikant Prasad and former Rajbhasha Parishad director B N Chowdhary have also been initiated.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar gave his nod for prosecution of 11 officials of various departments last year.
The government last year put in place the Special Courts Act to confiscate properties of corrupt officials.