CCRC grills six former ministers over Dashain dole

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 31:

The Corruption Control Royal Commission (CCRC) today interrogated six former ministers of the dismissed Sher Bahadur Deuba cabinet. The Commission has asked them to again appear before it on April 11.

Last Tuesday, the Commission had asked these ministers — Jog Meher Shrestha, Yuwaraj Gyawali, Hom Nath Dahal, Purna Bahadur Khadka, Mohammad Mohsin and Badri Prasad Mandal — to appear before it. The six have been charged with “illegally recommending” the cabinet to distribute Rs 4.1 million from the prime minister’s relief fund to their near and dear ones as Dashain expenditure.

Expressing dissatisfaction, former minister and president of the Nepal Sadbhawana Party (NSP) Badri Prasad Mandal said, “THe CCRC’s investigation of the cabinet’s decision has heralded a challenging situation in the current political picture.” The cabinet’s decision, Mandal said, was not an issue to be investigated by the Commission.

Mandal, however, hastened to admire the Commission’s objective to control and punish the corrupt. Former minister and senior leader of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), Jogmeher Shrestha said, “I don’t know anything about it...the one who says that I have misused the fund might have misused them himself.”

While former minister Mohsin brushed off the media with a terse, “No comments,” the other former ministers simply clammed up.

Meanwhile, six beneficiaries of the Dashain fund, including Amir Rana, Dutta Bahadur Rokaya and Ram Narayan Yadav — appeared before the Commission for necessary interrogation. They presented themselves following reports that their houses would be raided and they would be arrested if they failed to show up.