Govt can decide guv’s case: AG

KATHMANDU: Office of the Attorney General (OAG) today said it was the discretion of the government whether or not to reinstate ex-Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Bijaya Nath Bhattarai, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court last week.

“It’s the discretion of the government and thus it can take required decision in this regard,” an OAG source told The Himalayan Times, revealing that an advice of similar nature was forwarded to Ministry of Finance.

The ministry had sought the advice of the OAG to take decision after Bhattarai requested the ministry to reinstate him in the post.

Attorney General, Pro Dr Bharat Bahadur Karki, confirmed his advice forwarded to the

ministry. But he declined to

divulge. “We have suggested taking necessary steps whether or not to appoint Bhattarai as it is the discretion of the government,” Karki said.

Another source also added that the AG told the ministry that the latter could put the proposal to the Council of Ministers. “After completing required process, the government can fulfill the vacancy if it wants to adjust incumbent Governor, Dipendra Bahadur Chhetri, who was appointed for the post after Bhattarai was indicted on corruption charge,” the source added.

“Since the report itself stated that the appointment of the governor can be done as per the verdict of the apex court, the reinstatement is based on the wish of the government as Bhattarai already got clean chit from the SC,” the source said.

A division bench of Justices Khil Raj Regmi and Prem Sharma had acquitted Bhattarai and former Executive Director of the NRB, Surendra Man Pradhan, on July 15, stating that the duo had no malafide intention and hence the corruption charge could not be justified.