AIZAWL, Oct 3 - A district court in Mizoram today acquitted former Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla in a �false affidavit� case.
The Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Serchhip district acquitted the 80-year-old Congress leader on the ground that the complainant failed to prove the presence of mens rea behind Lal Thanhawla�s failure to disclose his property while filing nomination papers for the 2013 Assembly elections.
�On the basis of findings and reasons put forth, the complainant has failed to establish their case beyond all reasonable doubt against the accused�.and hereby I acquit him on the benefit of doubt,� JH Lalparmawii, First Class Judicial Magistrate, said in his judgement.
The criminal complaint, lodged by Lalhriatrenga Chhangte, who is a Deputy Controller of Mines under the Government of India, accused Lal Thanhawla of concealing information about his extended property in Kolkata in his affidavit while filing his nomination papers for the Mizoram Assembly polls in 2013 from Serchhip constituency.
Chhangte alleged that the five-time Chief Minister owns a plot of land at New Town on the outskirts of Kolkata, where the construction of a multi-storeyed building was under way, and that Lal Thanhawla had failed to declare the asset in his affidavit.