Kathmandu, September 20
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari appointed Nabin Kumar Ghimire as the chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority today.
Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra later administered the oath of office and secrecy to Ghimire at Shital Niwas in the presence of President Bhandari. Earlier, the Parliamentary Hearing Committee had unanimously confirmed Ghimire for the post of CIAA chief.
Presenting his work plan before the panel, Ghimire said removal of improper conduct and pompous social behaviour of officials, degradation in people’s moral conduct, expensive electoral system and changing modus operandi of corrupt officials were the challenges CIAA faced in controlling corruption.
He said officials were getting procurement and other such issues endorsed by the Cabinet in an attempt to shield those issues from the investigation of the anti-graft body. The CIAA cannot investigate issues endorsed by the Cabinet.
Ghimire said the majority of complaints were against the local levels and officials working in the education sector. “The CIAA should act in a way that does not create bogey in the people’s mind, but its work should certainly frighten corrupt people,” he added.
Ghimire said corrupt officials were changing their modus operandi and were avoiding receiving direct kickbacks from service seekers in order to avoid getting caught in sting operations. “This means we also need to change our style of functioning,” he told the panel.
Ghimire said he would ensure that nobody would be unnecessarily targeted by the anti-graft body. “We have prepared guidelines whereby we will do our own investigation and only when we have credible evidence of a possible wrongdoing will we make the officers accused of corruption fill the 13-page form,” he added.
Ghimire said he was collecting court precedents which he believed would be helpful in preparing watertight cases. He informed the panel that the anti-graft body had made an understanding to file corruption cases only when they had enough reasons to believe that the accused embezzled at least a certain amount.
PHC members had asked Ghimire whether he would prosecute the big fish and would take action in cases of policy corruption. They also told Ghimire that the anti-graft body should take action when blacktopping of roads gets washed away by rainwater the very next day.
No complaints were lodged against Ghimire. Ghimire, who spent more than three decades in civil service and reached the top post of secretary, was appointed a member of the CIAA three years ago. He assumed the charge of acting chief of CIAA on February 14 when then chief of the anti-graft body Deep Basnyat retired from service on age ground.
Ghimire was appointed as a commissioner of the CIAA in March 2015, two years after he retired from government service. He was the home secretary when he retired in 2013.
Ghimire, a resident of Kathmandu, holds master’s degree in public administration. Ghimire will retire from service after two years.
A version of this article appears in print on September 21, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.