SC verdict on Sharma habeas corpus writ tomorrow

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 10, 2017-The hearing on a writ of habeas corpus filed at the Supreme Court (SC) seeking the release of Chudamani Sharma, the suspended director general of the Inland Revenue Department, concluded on Wednesday and the apex court is set to pass its judgment on Friday. 

Sharma was arrested on June 2 by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on charge of misappropriating revenue and settling taxes in a questionable way as a member of the Tax Settlement Commission.

The CIAA filed a corruption case against Sharma, LD Mahat and Umesh Dhakal at the Special Court on July 16, accusing them of embezzling Rs 10.2 billion while exempting taxes to various enterprises in a dubious way. 

Mahat and Dhakal, also the members of the TSC, are on the run.

Sharma’s wife Kalpana Upreti had filed the writ of habeas corpus at the apex court on July 11, days before the CIAA filed the graft case against the TSC trio.

On July 19, the SC had ordered to maintain status quo on the corruption case. With hearing on the writ of habeas corpus underway at the SC, the Special Court has not been able to proceed with the graft case against Sharma, Mahat and Dhakal. 

The SC on August 1 had remanded Sharma to judicial custody. 

A full bench Justices Deepak Raj Joshi, Deep Kumar Karki, Kedar Prasad Chalise, Sharad Prasad Ghimire and Anil Kumar Sinha concluded hearing on the writ of habeas corpus on Wednesday. 

“Hearing has concluded. The full bench has decided to pass its verdict on Friday,” said Mahendra Nath Upadhyay, spokesperson for the SC.

During the hearing, the full bench sought to know whether the TSC was a judicial agency, a quasi-judicial agency or an administrative agency and whether the CIAA has the jurisdiction to investigate into TSC’s work.

The TSC was formed in 2015 by then Sushil Koirala government. 

An Office of the Auditor General (OAG) report in April had called into question the Rs 21 billion tax exemption granted by the TSC to various enterprises. 

During investigation, the anti-graft body had found tax exemption of billions of rupees was granted to various enterprises in an arbitrary way. 

Published: 10-08-2017 07:57

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