Lauda Air lease case verdict on Thursday

Kathmandu, July 30:

The Special Court said today that it would issue a verdict on the much-awaited case of lease of a Lauda Air aircraft on Thursday.

The case was filed by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) eight years ago.

A three-member bench of Judges comprising Bhoop-dhoj Adhikary, Komal Nath Sharma and Cholendra SJB Rana said today that the bench would pronounce the verdict on the case on Thursday. “Though the bench was supposed to pronounce the verdict today, it could not do so due to time constraint,” Registrar Lekh Nath Neupane told journalists. The CIAA had filed the case against the then Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Tarani Dutta Chataut and all the officials of the board of the then Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation Hiri Bhakta Shrestha, Thirtha Lal Shre-stha, Gauri Nath Sharma and Raja Ram Upadhyaya.

The CIAA had accused them of amassing Rs 389 million in the lease of an aircraft of Lauda Air. In the case, the CIAA had warned the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala not to repeat such a ‘mistake’ as the Council of Ministers had allowed the leasing of the Lauda Air aircraft.

The RNAC had signed a 18-month lease agreement with the Lauda Airlines of Vienna, Austria, but did not work after huge criticism by Nepali society and the Airbus was returned after six months.