Justice done

The Supreme Court in its verdict declared innocent ex-governor Bijaya Nath Bhattarai of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and Surendra Man Pradhan executive director in a high profile case in which the two had been indicted on corruption charges. The CIAA had prosecuted the duo over two years back subsequent to which they were suspended as per

the Corruption Prevention Act. Being high government officials, their case was in the limelight after a single bench of the Supreme Court justice had found them guilty and slapped them a heavy fine in the process. They were accused of incurring losses to the NRB to the tune of Rs. 30 million. They were alleged to have not bothered to return Rs. 19.5 million to KPMC, Sri Lanka which had signed an accord on behalf of IEF Inc. Lloyd Hill Oakton, USA although the agreement had been terminated. Furthermore, they were accused of using fake documents in what was termed as a fraudulent agreement. Now that the Supreme Court has given its verdict, several questions can be raised. In the first place why did the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) bring the charges without sufficient evidences? Was the anti-graft body being led astray

or were there others involved in attempting to frame the two government officials?

This calls for further investigations and also a closer look at the functioning of the CIAA and other such bodies. Incidentally, this is not the only case in which the Supreme Court has acquitted high ranking senior government officials. This is the

second instance of a SC verdict regarding a governor of the NRB. The

case involving the ex-governor and the executive director of NRB took two years for the Supreme Court and Special Court to come up with a verdict indicating the complex nature of the case. The Apex Court has although belatedly given the two a reprieve and corruption charges against them were dropped for they were found not to have appointed the consultants with malafide intention of any sort which obviously rules out corruption. Now that the two have not been found guilty of misappropriating official funds, Bhattarai is now said to be looking forward to joining work once again as soon as possible. In Pradhan’s case his tenure of service has already elapsed about four months ago.

The acquittal of the central bank officials augurs well for the country and shows that the people still have faith in the judiciary. The case had been shifted to the SC after a three member bench of the Special Court could not reach a unanimous decision. After much deliberation SC had decided that the disputed amount was used in paying the five consultants who were involved in the bank’s reengineering project for a month hence the corruption charges stood invalid. Now a complex scenario has emerged with the incumbent governor in place and Bhattarai suspended earlier from his governor’s position because of the corruption charges of which he has been absolved by the SC verdict now. It is now for the government to take the appropriate steps for facilitating Bhattarai to resume from his earlier chair as the NRB governor. Though delayed, justice has finally been done.

Green lessons

If potable water is our requirement to ward off water borne diseases, vegetable supplements are equally necessary to meet the body’s nutritional demands. So it’s but natural for the average Nepali to call aloud for vegetables to go along with the

heap of rice splashed with lentil soup. Maybe that’s the sumptuous meal in the morning that gets us running around till the evening when it’s time to

possibly another set of the same kind. But, with the vegetable prices making that unreachable perch for most of the Kathmanduites, it demands a strategy to obtain what the body needs to keep it running.

Kitchen gardens have always been in the news for many. But, the cramped dwellings in the metropolis doesn’t offer much choice for the bulk. Just to get

the peace of the mind, an option would be to get a few earthen pots to fulfill your urge of vegetable farming. If your effort and luck favours you, the bounty would be some fresh vegetables for your cooking pot. It’s not a new idea but it’s more relevant now than ever. Maybe the ministers could go for this fresh air activity to teach a moral or two to the

people on growing your own vegetables, howsoever little they may be.