Kathmandu, February 19
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has opened investigation into the bribery allegation levelled against its former commissioner Raj Narayan Pathak.
Joint Secretary Rameshwor Dangal, CIAA Spokesperson, told THT that a three-member panel headed by a joint secretary was formed to formally investigate the accusation of corruption. “Yes, the CIAA has launched an investigation to establish if Pathak solicited and received bribe, and what had actually happened,” he said without disclosing the name of the members on the board of the probe panel.
The panel has been given three months to complete its investigation and submit a fact-finding report. “However, the deadline may be extended as per necessity if the investigation lasts longer,” Dangal informed. The panel has also been asked to verify the authenticity of a video clip. Nepalkhabar.com, a news portal, had recently posted the video shot of a sting operation in which Pathak purportedly admitted to making a blunder by accepting the bribe.
Yesterday, Attorney General Agni Prasad Kharel had written to the CIAA that the anti-graft body would be within its right to investigate allegation of corruption against its former commissioner Pathak. The government’s chief legal adviser Kharel replied to the CIAA in writing after the latter sought his legal opinion on the matter.
The move to investigate the bribery accusation involving Pathak, when he was in office, comes after media reports alleged the anti-graft body was dragging its feet on investigation. Pathak, who was accused of receiving Rs 7.8 million bribe for settling corruption cases sub judice in the CIAA, had resigned from the post on February 15 after the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) threatened to impeach him.
A version of this article appears in print on February 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.