Supreme Court asks CIAA for clarification on Lalita Niwas land-grab case

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court has asked the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to present a written clarification as to why it did not file charges against former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai in connection with the Lalita Niwas land grab case.

A single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana ordered the Commission to submit the written clarification within 15 days.

Senior advocate Balkrishna Neupane had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the Supreme Court, on February 12, stating that CIAA had not indicted the former prime ministers and NCP (NCP) General Secretary Bishnu Paudel’s son Navin Paudel for their possible involvement in the Lalita Niwas case.

The CIAA recently filed a corruption case against 175 individuals including former deputy prime minister and Nepali Congress vice-president Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, former ministers Chandradev Joshi and Dambar Shrestha for their alleged role in the infamous case. However, there was no charge against Nepal, Bhattarai and Paudel.

Neupane, therefore, urged the apex court to issue an order to the CIAA telling it to file cases against the three as per Section 59 (c) of Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 35 of the penal code.