Joint Secy Sah faces charge of facilitating meter tampering, NOC Thankot Depot chief booked for black-marketing
Kathmandu, December 24
Joint Secretary Ram Aadhar Sah and Thankot depot chief of Nepal Oil Corporation Rabin Kumar Sharma, who were facing charges of meter tampering fraud and fuel black-marketing, respectively, were sent to judicial custody till the final hearing of the cases.
A bench of Judge Gayatri Prasad Regmi of District Court, Lalitpur, decided to send all 10 meter tampering accused, including Joint Secretary Sah, to judicial custody till the final hearing in the case, said spokesperson for the court Baburam Dahal.
According to Dahal, the court decided to send the accused to judicial custody, as the evidences collected in the case, including the tampering equipment, prima facie indicated that they were not innocent.
Among the 10 accused are Ram Aadhar Sah, Yunus Pradhan, Gopal Maharjan, Shailendra Bade, Shiv Prasad Timilsina, Aayog Alam, Sheikh Imtiyad, M Abrar, Hamid Hussain and Mukhtar Shah Fakir.
In the black-marketing case, a bench of Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal of Kathmandu Court sent Rabin Kumar Sharma, Hem Bikram Baral and Sitaram Ghimire to judicial custody till the final hearing of the case.
Another accused Kalyan Raj Khadka was asked to deposit a bail of Rs 40,000, according to registrar of the court Dhruba Kumar Upreti. Four other accused are absconding in this case.
Sah is a Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and former Director at the Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology.
The police had separately arrested Sah and Sharma from the capital on December 13 after some persons detained on the charge of fuel black-marketing and fuel meter tampering at different fuel stations in the Kathmandu Valley implicated the duo while recording their statements.
On November 22 and 23, the police had raided at least 19 petrol pumps in the Kathmandu Valley and initiated legal action against their owners and staffers for dispensing less fuel than what consumers were paying for.
The detainees were owners of Ekantakuna-based Gayatridevi Oil Stores, Chapagaun-based Shree Mahalaxmi Bishwakarma Traders, Balkumari-based Unique Fuel Centre, Sanepa-based Trishakti Fuel Centre, Balaju-based Crystal Fuel Suppliers, Bhaktapur Fuel Centre, Sano Bharyang-based New Bagalamukhi Oil Store, Gopi Krishna-based Rajdhani Oil, Jay Bageshwori-based New Pushpanjali Oil Trader Pvt Ltd, New Bus Park-based Pujakothi Oil Store and Samakhushi-based Diya Suppliers, among others.
Fuel pump owners were allegedly cheating consumers by tampering with the fuel meters to dispense less fuel. The petrol pumps were allegedly found taking the help of a group of technicians, mostly Indians.
Sah, who was NBSM Director General in 2013, had allegedly worked in cahoots with the racketeers to let them and petrol pump owners tamper with fuel meters in return for cash.
A version of this article appears in print on December 25, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.