Court sends KL Dugar Group employees to judicial custody

Kathmandu, January 4

Employees of KL Dugar Group, who were arrested by police on charge of black-marketing from the warehouse of Swastik Oil Industries on December 3, will be remanded in custody until the verdict on the case is reached.

The Kathmandu District Court, today, sent two employees of KL Dugar Group to judicial custody after the trial hearing on the case of fraud and black-marketing filed by government attorney against the prominent corporate house in the country.

Altogether 11 people affiliated with KL Dugar Group have been named as the defendants in these cases and an arrest warrant has already been issued against them. However, the police so far have managed to detain only two employees — Aman Jauthan and Pramod Raj Adhikari. Jauthan is the manager and Adhikari is liaison officer of KL Dugar Group. The remaining nine accused are still at large and the police are said to be on the lookout for them.

The court will soon issue a notice giving certain time limit to the accused to contest the case. The lawyers of the defendants have already presented their argument before court and had asked for the duo to be released on bail. However, the bench of Judge Deependra Adhikari decided to send them to judicial remand.

The government attorney had filed a charge sheet last Monday and court proceedings started from Tuesday. The prosecutor had filed charge sheet based on the report of the Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu. The police had recommended Rs 140 million in fine and five years of imprisonment of the accused in the case of black-marketing. There is also a provision of five-year imprisonment if the fraud charge is proven.

Dhruba Kumar Upreti, registrar at the Kathmandu District Court, said that the court will issue a notice to the accused to present themselves before court to contest the case. Fraud and black-marketing are criminal offences and the police can detain the accused any time and anywhere to present them before the court.

Apart from Jauthan and Adhikari, KL Dugar Group’s Chairman Kishan Lal Dugar; Vice Chairman Naresh Dugar; Managing Directors Kumud Dugar, Vikas Dugar, Dharamchand Dugar, Pradeep Kumar Chhajed; and Accountants Chandika Prasad Kushwaha, Ramakant Pari and Gautam Dugar have been named as defendants in both the cases.

The Metropolitan Police Circle, Baneshwor, had raided the warehouse of Swastik based on the tip-off that the firm was dispatching edible oil at double the market rates. Swastik is the flagship business of KL Dugar Group. The five trucks impounded by the police were loaded with edible oil that the firm was planning to sell at Rs 320 per litre — double the price during normal times. The company had hiked the price after the country started witnessing shortage of daily essentials due to disruptions in supply lines from India.