Nepal | August 07, 2020

Sharma to remain in CIAA custody

Supreme Court orders ‘status quo’ in graft case against IRD director general

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, July 19

The Supreme Court today ordered the Special Court to ‘maintain the status quo’ in the corruption case filed against Director General of the Inland Revenue Department Chudamani Sharma and referred a habeas corpus petition seeking his release to a full bench of justices, as legality of the Tax Settlement Commission needed a detailed scrutiny.

The order by a division bench gives a sigh of relief to Chudamani Sharma, who has been in custody of the Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority since June 2 on corruption charges, and the controversial TSC’s two office bearers — Chairman Lumbadhwaj Mahat and member Umesh Dhakal. Mahat and Dhakal remain at large.

Following the order, Sharma will continue to remain in custody, but the Special Court cannot record his statement, nor can it conduct bail hearing until a full bench of the Supreme Court delivers verdict on the case. The full bench consists of three or more justices.

On July 11, Sharma’s wife Kalpana Upreti had filed a habeas corpus petition at the apex court, demanding release of her husband arguing that his detention was illegal and motivated by the CIAA’s mala fide intention.

The CIAA had filed charge-sheets against Sharma, Mahat and Dhakal on July 16, accusing them of embezzling Rs 10.2 billion while working as office bearers of the TSC.

Registrar of the Supreme Court Mahendranath Upadhyay said the division bench of the court decided to send the case to a full bench, as the case entailed settling serious legal questions.

According to Upadhyay, the division bench observed in its order today that whether the TSC was a quasi-judicial body or an administrative unit, and whether the CIAA had jurisdiction over the TSC work, should be settled by a full bench of the SC.

The bench stated that interpretation of certain provisions of the Tax Settlement Commission Act, Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Act and Prevention of Corruption Act needed to be interpreted by a full bench.

The TSC had settled only 1,069 applications out of the 1,726 applications that it had received on long-pending tax disputes. Though the TSC had received applications to settle pending taxes worth Rs 30.5 billion, the commission had recovered taxes worth only Rs 9.5 billion from businesses whose taxes had been pending since long.

Members of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament had questioned why the TSC had been able to recover only Rs 9.5 billion. PAC members had charged TSC members with exempting big businesses from paying taxes for mutual benefit. Sharma repeatedly faced criticism for not fixing and collecting applicable capital gains tax involved in the Ncell deal between Axiata and TeliaSonera.

A version of this article appears in print on July 20, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Gandaki Province CM Prithivi Subba Gurung

No statutory ground to seek PM’s resignation

Gandaki Province chief minister Prithvi Subba Gurung is NCP (NCP) Gandaki Province in-charge. A former secretary of then CPN-UML party, Gurung is the supporter of Prime Minister and NCP (NCP) co-chairperson KP Sharma Oli. As the intra-party feud has escalated lately, CM Gurung has been quite occupie Read More...

International Commission of Jurists calls for transparency and justice

KATHMANDU: International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), an international non-government organisation which works as advocate for justice and human rights, has called upon the Government of Nepal to undertake substantial reforms in order to ensure that the wide-ranging constitutional and political re Read More...

Industry's violation of COVID-19 safety protocol causes virus transmission in community

DHARAN: An industry has been held responsible for transmission of coronavirus at community level in Dharan Sub-metropolitan City of Sunsari district.  Negligence on the part of Priti Valve and Fittings Industries Pvt Ltd located in the Industrial Area of Dharan-8 has been  blamed for local Read More...

China, coronavirus

360 new coronavirus cases detected; nationwide tally hits 21,750

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population has recorded 360 new cases of the coronavirus infection on Thursday, taking the nationwide count to 21,750. The new infections were confirmed after testing 6,622 specimens through PCR method across the nation in the last 24 hours. As many as 419,57 Read More...

Kathmandu valley sees highest daily-tally as 87 cases surface Thursday

KATHMANDU: As many as 87 Covid-19 cases were reported in Kathmandu valley in the last 24 hours, the highest single day tally recorded yet. Of the 87 cases, 76 cases were identified in Kathmandu alone while Lalitpur reported ten infections. Only one case was detected in Bhaktapur district on Thurs Read More...

Highest number of deaths registered in a single day in Nepal, five reported in 24 hrs

KATHMANDU: Five more fatalities related to the coronavirus infection have been reported today by the Ministry of Health and Population. This is the highest single-day deaths recorded in Nepal. A 45-year-old male from Rangeli Municipality-8 of Morang passed away on Wednesday, August 5. He had just Read More...

Man City sign Bournemouth defender Ake

LONDON: Manchester City have signed defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth on a five-year deal, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday. Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed but British media reported City paid Bournemouth 40 million pounds ($52 million) to sign the 25-year-o Read More...