CIAA files corruption case against 14 persons

Kathmandu, February 4

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority today filed a corruption case at the Special Court against 14 persons, including former minister of women, children and social welfare and former chair of social welfare council Badri Prasad Neupane for embezzling millions of rupees.

Other defendants include former vice-chair of SWC Pramod Mehata, former treasurer of SWC Kunja Bihari Prasad Chaudhary, former members of SWC Hari Neupane, Mohan Raj Sharma, Madan Kumar Lal Karna and former member secretary of SWC  Ravindra Kumar.

The anti-graft body issued a press release saying it claimed in the charge sheet the defendants did not follow legal procedure in renting 60 ropani land around Fun park at Bhrikuti Mandap.

A meeting of the Board of Directors of SWC held on 5 September 2012 had awarded the contract to Rabindra Gurung to run Fun Park for a monthly rent of Rs 555,000 (inclusive of all taxes) for 15 years. The anti-graft body said that as per the Governmental Contract Agreement Act, 1963, the defendants were required to award the contract through tender process but they did not comply with this provision.  It also said that the defendants awarded the contract for 15 years for a very low amount violating public procurement laws.

It said Icchumati Vegetable Market, which is around Bhrikuti Mandap was awarded a contract for a rent of Rs 78,571 per ropani land while the Fun Park land was rented for only Rs 9,250 per month. The CIAA said the former SWC office bearers rented the fun park at a much lower price compared to the market rate.

CIAA has sought to recoup Rs 315,217,675 from former minister Neupane, Mehata, Chaudhary, Sharma, Karna, Hari Neupane, Tek Bahadur Gurung ( Bhrikuti Mandap Fun Park operator) Rabindra Gurung (main operator of Bhrikuti Mandap Fun Park) each.

It has named former treasurer of SWC Ratna Gaha Magar, former directors of SWC Madan Prasad Rimal, former deputy director of SWC Bal Bahadur Swar, former legal advisors of SWC Prem Singh Dhami and Jagadev Chaudhary but has not claimed any amount from them.

The defendants had first awarded the contract on 6 September  2003 for a monthly rent of Rs 9,250 which was upgraded and extended on 5 September 2012.

CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwar Dangal said both decisions were taken with the malicious intent of committing corruption.