Nepal | March 26, 2019

Pathak puts in his papers, prez accepts

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, February 15

Commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Raj Narayan Pathak, who faces accusation of bribery, today tendered his resignation to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who accepted it, said Spokesperson for the Office of the President Chhabindra Parajuli.

A press release issued by the president’s office states that Pathak resigned with effect from today. “The president’s office does not issue a release without accepting a resignation,” Parajuli said when asked whether or not Pathak’s resignation was accepted by the president.

Media reported that Pathak admitted on camera in a sting operation to receiving Rs 7.8 million a bribe settling corruption cases being investigated by the CIAA.

Pathak tendered his resignation a day after the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) threatened to initiate impeachment proceedings against him if he did not tender his resignation.

Nepalkhabar.com has posted a video said to be shot during a sting operation which shows Pathak in conversation with a person (not seen) in Nepali.

Pathak, who is seen touching his ears in a sign of admission of guilt, is also heard saying, “I made a blunder.”

Pathak could not be contacted for comments.

NCP lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said Pathak resigned from his post today when party lawmakers were gathering signatures at the NCP Parliamentary Party office so as to file an impeachment motion against him.

Bidari, who is also a senior advocate, said impeachment motion could be filed against only sitting office bearers, but since Pathak had resigned lawmakers could not register an impeachment motion against him. He said the CIAA had the power to investigate allegation of corruption against Pathak.

Asked if the CIAA would initiate investigation against Pathak after media reports accused him of taking bribe, CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwar Dangal said the anti-graft body had yet to decide on that.

Pathak, who was appointed as CIAA commissioner in 2015, had two more years to serve at the anti-graft body, as CIAA commissioners are appointed for six years.

He was appointed CIAA commissioner after the Constitutional Council headed by late prime minister Sushil Koirala recommended him and four others as new commissioners on 27 February 2015.

Pathak, a permanent resident of Mahottari district, had retired as deputy attorney general five years ago.

 


A version of this article appears in print on February 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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