Kathmandu, November 10
The Kathmandu District Court has remanded industrialist Roop Jyoti to a further five-day police custody.
Earlier on Friday, court had allowed police to investigate Jyoti by keeping him in custody for three days which ended today. Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu had detained Jyoti on Friday, shortly after he returned from Singapore on charge of his alleged involvement in a housing procurement scam.
During today’s hearing on whether or not to extend his remand, Jyoti had himself pleaded on his behalf. Following his arrest Jyoti has been denying his involvement in any wrongdoing.
Jyoti, who is also a former state minister for finance and vice chairman of Jyoti Group, is primarily charged of duping people in housing business.
In December last year, the police had issued an arrest warrant against Jyoti on complaints that he was involved in housing fraud worth millions of rupees. Jyoti had immediately filed a writ against the arrest warrant and obtained a stay order from the court. However, a double bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Sumsher Rana and Justice Prakash Dhungana had vacated the stay order on Jyoti’s case on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, private sector has condemned the arrest of Jyoti and said that arresting industrialists in such a manner is discouraging to the business community and negatively impacts the business environment of the country. Moreover, a business group had staged protest against Jyoti’s arrest in Maitighar today.
Moreover, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) — the biggest umbrella organisation representing the country’s private sector — has expressed deep concern over Jyoti’s arrest.
“Arresting an industrialist who has a reputed history of doing business in the country and helping the entire economy by giving employment opportunities to thousands of people without enough investigation will certainly discourage the private sector,” reads the press statement issued by FNCCI today.
Citing that such trend of arresting industrialists will discourage both domestic and foreign investment in the country, FNCCI has urged government and all government agencies to treat the country’s private sector with dignity and respect.
A version of this article appears in print on November 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.