Hearing on Gopal Khadka’s writ slated for Sunday

Kathmandu, October 5

The Supreme Court (SC) has fixed the hearing on a writ filed by former chief of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Gopal Bahadur Khadka, against the government for Sunday.

Khadka had filed a writ petition at the apex court on September 21 citing that the government’s decision to sack him from the top post of NOC was illegal.

The Cabinet, on September 18, had sacked Khadka from his post for his involvement in financial irregularities while purchasing land plots to set up storage facilities across the country.

“SC will have the first hearing on Khadka’s writ demanding the annulment of the decision of the Cabinet on Sunday,” said Narayan Prasad Panthi, spokesperson for SC. According to him, both Khadka and the government officials will be called to the hearing for discussions on legal aspects of dismissing the then NOC chief Khadka.

The government had sacked Khadka from his post after probes carried out by different parliamentary committees had revealed involvement of Khadka in huge financial irregularities while purchasing land plots meant for developing petroleum infrastructure in different parts of the country.

However, Khadka had moved the SC demanding annulment of the Cabinet’s decision citing that he was dismissed without being given a chance to clarify. Moreover, Khadka had mentioned in the writ petition that he was sacked without any concrete evidence that prove his involvement in the misappropriation while purchasing land plots.

Meanwhile, Minister for Supplies Shiva Kumar Mandal said that various parliamentary committees had sought clarification from the former NOC chief numerous times and the government sacked Khadka based on the probe report of House panels and as his clarification was unsatisfactory.

“As the parliamentary committees are above the government, the latter does not need to seek further clarifications from the offender,” said Mandal, adding that if Khadka is reinstated to the NOC’s top post by SC, the government will seek other ways to take action against him as ‘it has become crystal clear to everyone that he is corrupt’.

The anti-graft body — Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) — is also holding a separate probe into the NOC land purchase issue since almost two months. However, CIAA Spokesperson Jiba Raj Koirala informed that the probe on the concerned issue is still underway and is likely to take a few more weeks to conclude.