Meghalaya HC dismisses former state addl advocate general's

The Meghalaya High Court today dismissed a petition by former state additional advocate general S P Mahanta appealing for interference of a ruling by an appellate court whereby he was found to have usurped land and two cottages of an Australia-based NRI.

"This court is not inclined to interfere with the order passed by the Appellate Court," Chief Justice Prafulla C Pant said while dismissing the petition in the form of a Regular First Appeal.

He said "The revision filed under Section 36-A of Administration of Justice and Police (in Khasi and Jaintia Hills) 1937, is hereby dismissed."

In his ruling, Justice Pant said it was difficult to say that the NRI had agreed to sell his share to Mahanta's wife V Kharsyntiew since the agreement was "unregistered".

Mahanta's wife Venetta Kharsyntiew had moved the High Court after Chief Judicial Magistrate Baphindalin Giri in her ruling last year said the land documents provided by Mahanta's wife were not "legally valid" and issued an order saying "the appellants (the NRI) are entitled to get back the possession of the land and the cottages."

Australia-based NRI Tushar Nath Bhattacharjee had moved the court alleging that the state's additional advocate general S P Mahanta had forcibly occupied his two cottages built on a land measuring 14,285 sq ft in Shillong's posh Lower Lachumiere locality.

In March 2005, Bhattacharjee filed an FIR against Mahanta, but before he could be arrested, the latter procured an anticipatory bail.