Parliament begins deliberations on impeachment motion

KATHMANDU: The Legislature-Parliament on Tuesday afternoon began deliberations on the impeachment motion against the chief of Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Lok Man Singh Karki.

Lawmaker Mohan Bahadur Shahi of CPN Maoist Centre presented the impeachment motion at the House, while CPN-UML chief whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal seconded it.

Shahi accused Karki of exploiting the CIAA as an instrument to meet his personal and his family's ambitions. By ignoring the process, constitutional role and responsibilities since Karki institutionalised corruption, terrorised the state mechanism, blackmailed [others] and presented himself in an anarchic and unconstrained manner, Shahi said.

Shahi presented a list of Karki's activities -- 1) disrespecting the sovereign Parliament by avoiding House Committee's summons on the pretext of health issues but appearing with a journalist of a private television channel for an interview; 2) obstructing the judicial process and disrespecting the judiciary;  3) withholding corruption cases against his kith and kin; 4) abusing his authority while raising the number of MBSS seats in KIST Medical College which is run by his kin, and in the medical entrance examinations of Kathmandu University; 5) spying on leaders who are not on state positions and the chiefs of security organs by call tapping and obtaining their call details, and thereby, indulging in activities including spying against the State; 6) opaquely withholding complaints of irregularities in many agencies including the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority; 7) building a faction in the CIAA itself and making decisions unilaterally and opaquely without involving other commissioners; 8) acting like an executive instead of an ombudsman by abusing authority and stepping in police, administration as well as intelligence agencies to influence such that they acted in the best interests of his; and 9) defaming individuals through propaganda instead of carrying out serious investigation into corruption cases using constitutional power -- before the House while justifying the essence of the impeachment motion.

Gagan Thapa, who had filed a proposal of public importance in July before his appointment as a minister, asking the Parliament to being discussions on demands raised by Dr Govinda KC, who had been staging fast-unto-death for demanding reforms in Nepal medical education sector and impeachment against Lok Man Singh Karki, pointed out that Karki's appointment was a mistake and opined that Parliament should not repeat any mistake by not impeaching Karki.

With signature of 157 lawmakers -- 107 from the main opposition CPN-UML and 50 from the ruling Maoist party -- the duo had registered the impeachment motion against the anti-graft body at the Parliament Secretariat last Wednesday.

After today's meeting, the House has been deferred for 15 days. The House meeting has been called for November 10 after the Chhath festival.