Lone BJP MLA in Mizoram, BD Chakma, and 12 others were sentenced to one-year imprisonment on graft charges.
The verdict was announced by Special Judge (Prevention of Corruption Act) Vanlalenmawia at the District Court of Aizawl. A fine of Rs 10,000 was also imposed on the convicts.
Chakma has become the first legislator convicted in a graft case in Mizoram.
All 13 persons including Chakma and Chakma Autonomous District Council Chief Executive Member (CEM) Buddha Lila Chakma, were convicted on July 22 in a graft case under Section 13(1)(d) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The others—all members of the autonomous council—are Amar Smriti Chakma, Adikanta Tongchangya; Parimal Chakma, Sushil Kumar Chakma, Chitra Kumar Chakma, Ajoy Kumar Chakma, Buban Kumar Chakma, Mohan Chakma, Amit Kumar Chakma, Susen Chakma, and Taranisen Chakma.
According to reports, they were found guilty of misusing their power by diverting developmental funds from the Central government and fraudulently misappropriating Rs 1,541,73,238.
A complaint was also submitted to the Mizoram Governor over alleged gross financial irregularities and misuse of funds meant for the implementation of developmental works.
Chakma was in Congress when the complaint was filed by the then BJP general secretary. He became the first ever BJP legislator in 2018 when he won the Assembly polls.
He also served as the 15th Chief Executive Member of Chakma Autonomous District Council. He was also a minister of state in the previous Congress government. Now he represents the Tuichawng constituency in the Mizoram Legislative Assembly.
Following the complaint, the Governor constituted an inquiry and an FIR was submitted to the state Anti-Corruption Bureau in 2018.