THT 10 YEARS AGO: Case against Prasain, 49 others in KDC

Kathmandu, June 20, 2007

The Kathmandu District Government Attorney’s Office (KDGAO) today filed charge sheets against 50 businessmen in the Kathmandu District Court (KDC).

The KDGAO has sought five-year jail terms on each of them and Rs 330 million to be recovered from them. The charge sheets were filed against the former chairman of Small and Cottage Industries Development Bank, Sitaram Prasain, — who was arrested and handed over to the police by the Young Communist League some weeks ago — and other promoters DB Gurung, Basudev Giri, Jang Bahadur Shrestha, Salikram Mathema, Bhagwat Shrestha, Kailash Bhakta Karanjit, Him Gurung and Sunil Gurung.

The other defendants in the case are Nepal Rastra Bank’s licenced evaluators — Narayan Babu Lohani, Binod Dawadi, Pramod Bahadur Thapa, Monalisha Silpakar, Purusottam Sharma and Kanchan Parajuli.

The KDGAO claimed that the bank evaluators failed to perform their duty while evaluating the security bonds of several businessmen while releasing loans. The case was filed under topics 1, 4 and 5 of the Fraud Chapter of Civil Code 1963.

The charge sheet states that the businessmen and other defendants have to pay back a total amount of Rs 330 million — including the principal and interest. According to the charge sheet, the promoters released loans to the businessmen who did not meet the criteria set by the banks.

Ex-CJ agrees to head NHRC

Kathmandu, June 20, 2007

Former Chief Justice Kedar Nath Upadhyaya today accepted the government’s offer to head the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Another former CJ and Upadhyay’s younger brother, Bishwo Nath Upadhayay, had yesterday rejected Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s offer to take up the NHRC top post.

He had taken retirement in 1996 while the younger brother, Kedar Nath, had retired as Chief Justice in 2004. “Since the Prime Minister was looking for a person to head the NHRC, I have accepted the offer,” Upadhayaya told this daily. “This is an opportunity to do something for the nation,” he added.

Upadhayaya, however, set some conditions for accepting the position. “I clearly told the PM that I will not work if the government fails to give independent members in the NHRC who can work freely,” he said, adding, “Problems will arise if any official or member of the rights body has political affiliation.”

Koirala told Upadhyay to help him find such persons. The former CJ, however, told the PM that it is the government’s job to look for such persons. Speaker Subash Nemwang, who met Koirala this morning at Baluwatar, told reporters that the prime minister has assured him that the government would soon make appointments in constitutional bodies, including the NHRC.