HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today convicted former joint secretary Ananda Prasad Khanal of corruption and slapped a 15-month jail term and Rs 12 million fine on the former bureaucrat. The court also ordered confiscation of property equal to the fine.
A division bench of Justices Kalyan Shrestha and Bharat Bahadur Karki issued the verdict, partially overturning a Special Court verdict issued in 2005 in which the latter had slapped a 12-month jail term and Rs 12 million fine. “Keeping in mind the amount he had amassed, we have slightly overturned the Special Court verdict,” Justice Shrestha said while pronouncing the judgment. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had moved the apex court, saying the jail term and fine imposed (by the Special Court) on Khanal was not enough compared to the corruption he had committed.
On the other hand, Khanal, former joint secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, too had moved the apex court, challenging the Special Court verdict and demanding acquittal.
The CIAA had chargesheeted Khanal, saying he had amassed property disproportionate to his legitimate income and that he was hiding the illegally amassed wealth in the names of his wife Padma and sons Anil, Amit and Abhash.
‘Review public servants’ salary’
KATHMANDU: While pronouncing the judgment on former bureaucrat Anand Raj Khanal, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the government to set norms for public servants’ salaries. The bench said to keep public servants away from corrupt practices, the government must review their salaries based on inflation. “Spiralling market prices could tempt (government) staff to indulge in corrupt practices. So the government needs to pay them enough so that they can manage well,” noted the bench.