Kathmandu, August 19
The deadline to produce Khadga Bahadur Khatri, former minister of Physical Infrastructure Development of Karnali Province, who is also a contractor, at Patan High Court, ended yesterday. Police are still clueless about Khatri’s whereabouts.
Special Government Attorney’s Office had asked Central Investigation Bureau on August 14 to produce Khatri before the court within three days, as per the court’s order.
Khatri faces multiple banking offence cases related to forgery of documents, in relation to development projects to be undertaken by the firms he was involved in. The order issued by the court has termed Khatri an absconding offender.
Babu Ram Dahal, spokesperson of the court said, “We had already sent the letter to the Central Iinvestigation Bureau on the same day, which means that they should have presented the accused at the court by yesterday, but we have not received any information from policet yet.”
Deputy Inspector General of CIB Niraj Bahadur Shahi said they had asked Karnali Province police to bring him under custody and expressed confidence he would be presented at the court within a few days. “For now, we are not sure whether or not he is absconding.”
Deputy Inspector General Bishwaraj Pokharel spokesperson of Nepal Police also said that he was unaware about the progress made by police in producing Khatri at the court.
The government had recently filed a banking offence case against Khatri, Raju Prasad Shrestha, Chhabi Lal Dhakal, Randhir Tumba and Dev Jung Shahi for submitting two fake bank guarantees to Bhojpur Technical Committee between June and November 2016.
As per the chargesheet, the defendants prepared two fake bank guarantees of Rs 10.1 million of Agriculture Development Bank, Bhojpur, and submitted them to Bhojpur Technical Committee.
Khatri was elected to the provincial assembly from Surkhet-1(B) representing the former CPN-UML party.
Province Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi had sacked Khatri on August 15, from his post in the wake of a banking offence case filed against him just a day before the court’s order to produce him at the court. The joint bench of Justice Shrikanta Poudel and Tek Prasad Dhungana had issued the order to produce him at court.
Patan High Court had also rebuked detectives for not producing Khatri before the court the day the charge sheet was filed against him.
A version of this article appears in print on August 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.