Former TMO chief, inspector held for corruption

Kathmandu, December 28

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority filed a chargesheet against former chief of Rupandehi-based Transport Management Office Ananda Keshari Pokharel and ex-inspector of Western Regional Traffic Police Office Rabindra Shrestha at the Special Court for their alleged involvement in corruption and financial irregularities.

The anti-graft body had indicted them yesterday after necessary inquiry into their involvement in corruption. According to the CIAA, former TMO chief Pokharel and member of trial examination committee Shrestha colluded with intermediaries to issue licence to 71 persons, who did not even attend the trial or failed to pass it. The CIAA has not mentioned the date on which they issued licence unlawfully.

Their unethical activities had also resulted in revenue loss to the government. They have been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act-2002. In the charge-sheet, the CIAA has sought maximum punishment under the law. If any authorised person alters the results of examinations with the intention of gaining illegal advantage, he/she shall also be liable to imprisonment from three months to one year, along with a fine ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 depending on the gravity of the offence.

TMO was among the top 14 government offices categorically identified by a report of the CIAA as the most corruption-sensitive government body where services were often denied without bribe. According to a study on ‘Status of Corruption and Good Governance in Nepal-2019’, the amount of bribe money to be offered to the officials concerned is contingent on the nature of service. Corruption is rampant in TMO for vehicle registration, issuance and renewal of driving licence, distribution and renewal of ownership book and ownership transfer of vehicles.