THT 10 years ago: Move to let CIAA grill army men

Kathmandu, September 14, 2006

Lawmakers at the parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) today proposed an amendment in the draft bill meant for amending and integrating acts related to Nepal Army in order to bring the army under the ambit of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).

They have also proposed that Auditor General audits the army’s controversial Welfare Fund account.

The proposed amendment in Clause 58 of the draft bill states that CIAA should be able to investigate and prosecute (armymen involved in corruption) in accordance with other existing laws.

The amendment was proposed by lawmakers Lila Mani Pokhrel, Ananda Prasad Dhungana, Amod Prasad Upadhaya, Gokarnaraj Bista, Chitra Bahadur KC, Tek Bahadur Chokhyal, Mahesh Acharya and Ram Chandra Poudel.

The 1990 Constitution and the CIAA Act had excluded army officials from such action by the anticorruption body. They have also proposed amendment to try the Nepal Army officers and soldiers in civil courts if found involved in activities that violate existing laws as well as adversely affect civilian life.

Likewise, another group of MPs proposed an amendment in Clause 24 (4) for making an arrangement for Auditor General to audit the account of army’s Welfare Fund.

Apex court quashes Sobhraj’s petitions

The Supreme Court today quashed two separate writ petitions filed by alleged international serial killer Charles Gurumukh Sobhraj and his lawyers.

The apex court repealed a twoyear-old writ filed by advocate Sanjeev Ghimire on behalf of Sobhraj seeking order to the government authorities to shift Sobhraj to a normal jail room from the high-security Sundhara-based Central Jail.

Announcing the verdict, a division bench of justices Top Bahadur Magar and Kalyan Shrestha said: “There is no need to issue any order as sought by the petitioner as Shobhraj is being detained there as per the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs.”

Sobhraj is being detained in the Central Jail for the last three years after he made an unsuccessful attempt to break the jail. Sobhraj’s appeal is pending at the SC after the Kathmandu District Court and Patan Appellate Court imposed 20-year jail term for killing an American backpacker Connie Jo Bronzich in Nepal in 1975.

The petitioner had made the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ministry of Home Affairs and the jail administration defendants and sought SC order to shift Sobhraj to a normal jail room.

The bench also quashed another writ filed by Sobhraj’s lawyers, including Rajaram Dhakal, Ram Bandhu Sharma and Sanjeev Ghimire, seeking the apex court order to the government authorities to allow them to meet Sobhraj frequently.

The bench quashed the second writ saying that there was no need to issue an order.