CIAA files 99 graft cases in nine months

Kathmandu, March 30

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority said that it would soon test the quality of construction material in its own lab which would help it punish those who embezzle development project money.

CIAA Spokesperson Dirgha Raj Mainali said the CIAA had established Civil Engineering Lab to determine the quality of construction material used in roads, projects and public buildings and that the lab would come into operation soon.

Mainali said the anti-graft body had brought the sample of the black-topping of the Mid-Hill Highway near Halesi of Khotang district which crumbled in a month. “We will test the quality of the construction materials used and will take action if we found any foul play,” Mainali added.

He said the anti-graft body had also established Digital Forensic Lab and begun CDR analysis and intelligence-based investigation into cases. “All these efforts will help us gather evidences and the success rate of our cases will be high,” Mainali added. He said in last nine months, the CIAA had filed 99 corruption cases and named 241 persons as defendants in those cases. The total amount that the CIAA said was embezzled in these cases was Rs  10.46 billion.

Mainali said the anti-graft’s sting operation carried out in last nine months led to arrest of 88 civil servants, including two joint secretaries and the filing of 56 cases. Among the civil servants were two joint secretaries, 27 non-gazetted officers, 10 technical non-gazetted officers, eight section officers and four engineers.

In the last nine months, the CIAA filed disproportionate asset cases against four civil servants  — Deputy Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Mahendra Lal Shrestha, Joint Secretary at Higher Secondary Education Council Devi Prasad Barakoti, Director General of Inland Revenue Department Chudamani Sharma and Chief Revenue Officer of Large Taxpayers Office Tikaram Bhusal.

Mainali said the CIAA had adopted a new indictment policy keeping in mind legal provisions, directives, good practices of other countries, verdicts of the Special Court and precedents.

Mainali said the new indictment policy would help the anti-graft body correct past mistakes, if any. He said the CIAA had adopted a policy not to publicise the information relating to public officers’ property details till a case was not filed against corrupt civil servants.  “We have realised that when we order a civil servant to give their property details and when we disseminate information about it, it demoralises the concerned civil servant concerned and affects his capability,” he said.