Kathmandu, August 15
Karnali Province Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi has sacked Minister of Physical Infrastructure Development of his province, Khadka Bahadur Khatri, from his post in the wake of a banking offence case filed against him. The chief minister has kept physical infrastructure portfolio with him.
Earlier, ruling Nepal Communist Party General Secretary Bishnu Paudel had told THT that the party told Khatri to leave the Cabinet as a banking offence case had been filed against him.
Khatri is among the five individuals who have been accused of providing fake bank guarantees of Rs 10.1 million to Bhojpur Technical Committee. Patan High Court had, on Tuesday, ordered police to arrest and produce Khatri before it within three days.
Earlier today, Special Government Attorney’s Office had written a letter to the Central Investigation Bureau asking it to produce Khatri before the court within three days, in accordance with the court order.
Joint Attorney Murari Paudel of the Special Government Attorney’s Office told THT that CIB investigators would have the option of bringing Khatri to the court or allowing him to appear before the court if he pledged in writing that he would do so within the stipulated time. Paudel said the three-day period would start from the day the notice would be served to Khatri and that would exclude the time required for his travel to the court. Patan High Court had rebuked detectives for not producing Khatri before the court the day chargesheet was filed against him.
The government 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, defendants prepared two fake bank guarantees of Rs 10.1 million of Agriculture Development Bank, Bhojpur, and submitted them to Bhojpur Technical Committee.
The order issued by Patan High Court termed Shrestha and Khatri absconding offenders.
A member of the tainted minister’s secretariat had told THT yesterday that Khatri had been consulting his lawyers and he would surrender before the court within a day or two.
Khatri is also a contractor and runs KSK Construction in Surkhet. He had provided security bond for the bank guarantee. Contractor Ranvir Tumba and Devjung Shahi have been accused of playing the role of main conspirators to produce fake bank guarantees. Police have already arrested Tumba, Shahi and Section Officer of Agriculture Bank, Bhojpur, Chhabi Lal Dhakal. Khatri could not be contacted as his phone was switched off.
A version of this article appears in print on August 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.