Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 25:

Despite the provision of reviewing Special Court verdict on graft case within three months, the Supreme Court is yet to re-examine the Special Court verdict passed on July 22 on corruption case filed against senior Nepali Congress (Democratic) leader and former minister Chiranjivi Wagle.

The Special Court had convicted Wagle for corruption but due to Supreme Court’s delay neither was he sent to jail nor was he given a clean chit. The Special Court had imposed a two-and-a-half-year jail term on him and slapped a fine of Rs 27.2 million in response to the corruption case filed by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority. The Special Court also ordered to forfeit his illegal property amounting to Rs 27.2 million while he was minister after 1990.

Challenging the verdict unanimously passed by a three-member bench comprising of Top Bahadur Magar, Govinda Prasad Parajuli and Bhoopdhoj Adhikary, Wagle had moved the apex court on September 8.

According to Section 16 (2) of Special Court Act 2002, the Supreme Court has to review the Special Court verdict within three months, giving priority to any review plea challenging the Special Court verdict on graft case.

Wagle’s lawyer, on condition of anonymity, told this daily that the apex court is yet to schedule the case for hearing. “I am surprised as to why the apex court has not scheduled the case despite the provision,” he added.

Supreme Court’s joint-registrar, Durga Prasad Dawadi, however said the apex court cannot give priority to any specific case.

“There are thousands of cases pending at the Supreme Court and it would be injustice to prioritise any specific case,” he added.