The Central Investigation Bureau has arrested Ram Kumar Subedi and his wife Madhavi on the charge of preparing fake government documents in the Lalita Niwas land grab case.

Kathmandu District Court has remanded the Subedi couple to five days' judicial custody. Ram Kumar was arrested from Kamaladi and Madhavi from Tahachal.

They allegedly connived with wrong elements to create fake government documents to transfer the ownership of government owned land of Lalita Niwas (the complex that houses the prime minister's residence, Nepal Rastra Bank's central office and houses of VIPs) into private ownership.

Ram Kumar used to work as a legal-aid provider outside a Land Revenue Office in Kathmandu. The couple also allegedly bribed corrupt government employees at the Land Revenue Office to illegally transfer land plots to different people.

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had on 6 February 2020 filed a corruption case against 175 individuals, including Subedi and Madhavi, for their alleged involvement in Lalita Niwas land grab case. Although most of the accused, including Shobha Kanta Dhakal, were arrested and are undergoing trial, the Subedi couple had been absconding.

Superintendent of Police Shyam Kumar Mahato at CIB said, "We have arrested the Subedi couple following the court's arrest warrant and we'll do our own investigation on the government document forgery case." He didn't rule out police helping the CIAA by shedding light on the Subedi couple's involvement in the case.

An investigation committee formed by the government under the leadership of former secretary Sharada Trital had accused Ram Kumar of manipulating existing rules, bribing officials, and creating fake documents along with Shobha Kanta Dhakal, the main accused in the scam. They have been accused of creating fake owners of the government property and selling the land to other people or even buying it in their own names.

The 175 people accused by the CIAA include former deputy prime minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, four former ministers, former head of the CIAA Deep Basnyat, and two former secretaries.

Of them, Dhakal is in Dillibazaar prison, whereas some are out on bail or released on general dates.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 23, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.