The Supreme Court today granted bail to former chief commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Deep Basnyat.

A division bench of justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai quashed the Special Court's order to send Basnyat to judicial custody and ordered the government to release him on a bail of Rs 5 lakh. The bench said Basnyat deserved to be released on bail since he merely presented the files related to Lalita Niwas land to the line minister and other government officials of Basnyat's rank had been released on general court date or bail.

The bench said Basnyat, 69, should be released on bail on humanitarian grounds, as he had contracted COVID and was suffering from a heart ailment.

He is accused of embezzling Rs 9.65 crore in the Lalita Niwas land grab case.

He has been in judicial custody since December after the Special Court decided to send him to judicial custody for his alleged involvement in the land grab case.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 8, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.