Kathmandu, February 9
Land Revenue Office, Dillibazaar, has reclaimed two plots of Lalita Niwas land registered in the name of Supreme Court Justice Kumar Regmi and Nepal Communist Party (NCP) General Secretary Bishnu Paudel’s son Navin.
Chief Land Revenue Officer of LRO, Dillibazaar, Govinda Adhikari said he crossed off the land registered in the name of Navin (almost eight ana land) and Regmi (less than two ana) last Friday after the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty wrote a letter to it citing the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority’s decision to that effect.
Last Wednesday, the CIAA had filed corruption case against 175 individuals for their alleged role in Lalita Niwas land-grab case. But the anti-graft body stated that it was not indicting Navin and Regmi as they pledged to return the land plots. Navin had almost eight ana land in his name in Baluwatar area.
Adhikari said he brought the plots of Navin and Regmi under the ownership of the government as per Section 24 (2) of Land Revenue Act. Section 24 (2) section stipulates that if any person has registered any public land or government land in his or her name and has cultivated it prior to or after the commencement of the Section, such registration shall ipso facto be void. Land Revenue Office or an authority specified by the Government of Nepal shall cross off the registration of such land in the name of any person. Adhikari said the process to cross off the registration of land plots of Navin and regmi was consistent with the existing laws.
He also said he had crossed off registration of public land by landless people in Jajarkot district.
Advocate Pankaj Karna said the CIAA adopted selective approach in Lalita Niwas land-grab case as it gave immunity to some and indicted others in the case. He said the CIAA gave immunity to some of the members of the Cabinet and indicted others. If the Cabinet decision that allowed the transfer of the ownership of Lalita Niwas land was wrong then all members responsible for taking the decision should have been indicted, according to Karna.
In this case, the Cabinet only took decision to transfer the ownership of land and it did not frame any policy, he argued.
“The CIAA indicted people for their role in Lalita Niwas case, but it did not say that the decision of the Cabinet that allowed transfer of ownership of Lalita Niwas land was wrong and if the decision was not wrong then why did the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority indict people?” he wondered.
Senior Advocate Mithilesh Kumar Sing said anybody could voluntarily renounce ownership of his/her property and Land Revenue Office’s decision to bring the land plots of Paudel and Regmi was consistent with the provisions of the Land Revenue Act.
A version of this article appears in print on February 10, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.