Show cause notice issued against govt

The apex court has asked defendants to furnish their replies in 15 days

Kathmandu, July 30

The Supreme Court today issued a show cause notice in the name of the government against the presidential pardon to corruption convict Pradip Jung Pandey, immediate past president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Pandey was among 21 convicts pardoned by President Ram Baran Yadav on Monday at the recommendation of the Council of Ministers. The 21 convicts, including Pandey, were pardoned by the President as per Article 151 of the Interim Constitution.

Responding to a writ filed yesterday by Advocates Roshan Kumar Jha, Suresh Mahato and Prabhu Chandra Jha, Justice Gobind Kumar Upadhyay issued the show cause notice today against the Office of the President, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Home Affairs, who have been asked to furnish their replies in 15 days. The bench, however, refused to issue an interim order as sought by the petitioners. Pandey was sent to jail in a three-decade-old corruption case on March 18 as per a Supreme Court order. At the time of arrest, he was the president of the FNCCI. Following the arrest, FNCCI had removed Pandey.

Pandey was convicted of corruption in 1982 when he was working as an accountant at the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage and was slapped with a jail term of three years and a fine of Rs 5,000. Before his arrest in March, Pandey had claimed that his jail sentence was waived by then king on November 20, 1985. He was released without serving his remaining jail term of one year, nine months and 27 days. He had claimed that his fine had also been waived by the then king through a separate decree.

Observing that Pandey failed to produce any evidence to support his claim that his jail sentence was waived by the then king, the Supreme Court in March had ruled that Pandey should serve the remaining jail term.