Supreme Court acquits former IGP Bohara, his kin of graft charges

Kathmandu, December 6

The Supreme Court today acquitted former inspector general of police Motilal Bohara, his daughter Jyotsana Bohara Pandey and his late wife Kala in graft cases.

The apex court is yet to prepare the full text of the verdict.

The verdict was delivered by a division bench of justices Sarada Prasad Ghimire and Purushottam Bhandari.  Bohara had filed a memorandum of appeal at the SC on December 14, 2012.

Bohara hailed the SC verdict. “Although I had to wait for years to get justice.  Today’s verdict has reinforced my belief in our court system. The SC ultimately upheld the truth,” he said and added that he was required to prove the source of those properties that he had purchased 40 years ago.

“In those days there was no proper system to record source of income,” he added.

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had filed a graft case against Bohara, his daughter Jyostsana and his late wife Kala in 2004.

According to Bohara’s lawyer Til Prasad Gautam, the CIAA had accused Bohara of amassing disproportionate assets worth Rs 2.38 crores. The Special Court had, however, held that Bohara had disproportionate assets only worth Rs 26 lakhs.  The Special Court had also slapped a jail sentence of one-and-a-half years on Bohara.

His daughter Jyotsna and his late wife Kala had been named defendants as Bohara had purchased some land in their names.

Gautam said that his client raised the issue that the anti-graft body had fixed the value of Bohara’s assets as per 2003 the market value but Bohara had purchased the properties many years ago and at much lower prices.

“My client argued at the SC that the fixation of the price of his property by the CIAA was wrong. He bought land at Baneshwor for about Rs 35,000 to 40,000 in 1978, but the CIAA wrongly fixed the price of that land as per its value in 2003,” he argued.

Gautam said had the Special Court accepted his client’s claim of agriculture income and a contract he had signed with a local person in Birgunj whereby a person had built his house on  condition that he would use his house for five years for free so as to recoup his investment, Bohara would not have to wait this long to get justice.

Bohara, who had joined Nepal Police in 1967 rose to the rank of inspector general of police and retired from the service in 1996.

The CIAA had filed a graft case against Bohara  at the Special Court on August 17, 2004, accusing him of  amassing disproportionate assets worth Rs 2.38 crores. The Special Court quashed CIAA’s claim against Bohara in 2007 saying that the anti-graft body had not filed the case within the statute of limitations.

The government then filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against the dismissal of CIAA’s claim against Bohara by the Special Court.

After the SC reopened the case, it found Bohara guilty of graft. Senior advocates Krishna Prasad Sapkota and Badri Bahadur Karki had also pleaded on behalf of  Bohara in the apex court.

Bohara then field a memorandum of appeal at the SC on December 20, 2012, challenging his conviction by the Special Court.