‘Tainted’ ex-secy gets court clean chit

Kathmandu, June 7:

Quashing a chargesheet filed by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, the Special Court today gave a clean chit to a former Home Secretary, Padam Prasad Pokhrel.

A three-member bench comprising judges Bhoop Dhoj Adhikary, Komal Nath Sharma and Cholendra SJB Rana quashed the chargesheet against Pokhrel. The bench said the court cannot enter on the case which was registered against the proviso of Clause 29 of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Act 1991. The proviso states that a case cannot be entertained against any civil servants more than one year after his or her retirement.

The CIAA, however, claimed that it had filed the chargesheet based on the amendment of the Act in 2002, which states that a case can be filed against any official even five year after his/her retirement.

The CIAA had filed the case against Pokhrel in 2003 on the charge of accumulating property amounting to Rs 1.51 through illegal means.

Pokhrel retired in 2000. The court give Pokhrel a clean chit, following the precedent set on the case against a ex- minister, Govinda Raj Joshi.

After Joshi, the Special Court had given clean chit to former Inspector Generals of Police Motilal Bohara, and Achyut Krishna Kharel. Cases against Rabindra Nath Sharma, Sabitri Raj Rajbhandari and Chakra Bandhu Aryal have been pending.

“These decisions indicate that the court is not tackling corruption cases seriously,” a CIAA commissioner said.

“We have investigated and filed cases. We have done our duty, but we can do nothing if the court gives clean chit to the accused,” he said. The commissioner said the CIAA will file an appeal in the Supreme Court .