SC begins hearing on NRB gov case

Kathmandu, March 16:

The Supreme Court today started hearing on a corruption case against suspended officials of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) — governor Bijaya Nath Bhattarai and executive director Surendra Man Pradhan.

A single bench of justice Tahir Ali Ansari is hearing the case.

Pleading on behalf of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), joint government attorney Saroj Raj Gautam demanded that the bench uphold Special Court Judge Cholendra SJB Rana’s judgement to sentence Bhattarai and Shrestha “because there was evidence to prove that the two were involved in corruption”.

The case was transferred to the apex court after the Special Court judges failed to issue a verdict due to differences of opinion. Gautam claimed that Bhattarai and Pradhan had signed a fake contract and had caused the nation a loss of Rs 30 million by terminating the contract signed with the IEF Inc Lloyd Hill Oakton, USA in association with KPMG, Sri Lanka.

Stating that the two NRB officials had caused the nation a loss of Rs 30 million by signing and terminating the fake contract, the CIAA had filed a case against the two on June 29, 2007. The bench also directed joint government attorney Mohan Bahadur Karki, who will plead on behalf of the CIAA tomorrow, to explain why the Special Court transferred the case to the apex court and whether or not a single bench of the apex court can decide the case.