2 TSC members jailed after failing to post bail

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 22, 2017-

The Special Court on Tuesday sent Chairperson and member of the now-defunct Tax Settlement Commission (TSC) Lumba Dhowj Mahat and Umesh Dhakal to jail after they failed to post a bail amount. 

After the hearing on the corruption case filed by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) against them, a joint bench of Special Court judges-Chairperson Baburam Regmi and judges Dwarika Man Joshi and Ratna Bahadur Bagchand had set the bail amount of Rs10 million each. 

“But they signed the paper stating their inability to produce the bail amount. 

The court then sent them to Dillibazaar jail,” said Nagendra Pokharel, spokesperson for the Special Court.  

The duo had surrendered themselves to the Special Court on November 16, after remaining at large since the CIAA initiated a probe against TSC members and arrested Chudamani Sharma, another TSC member, on June 2. 

The CIAA filed Rs10.96 billion corruption case against trio on July 16, on the charge of misappropriating revenue and settling taxes in a questionable manner. 

But Sharma, the suspended director general of Inland Revenue Department (IRD), failed to turn up before the court to face the trial. 

The court had earlier delivered a summons notice to Sharma on October 23. 

On July 11, Sharma’s wife Kalpana Upreti Sharma had filed a habeas corpus 

writ at the Supreme Court (SC) demanding the release of her husband. Responding to the writ, the SC on August 10 ordered the CIAA to release Sharma on general date.

According to CIAA officials, a detailed study of files related to tax exemption unearthed misappropriation of revenue by the TSC members as due tax had been settled in a questionable way, with some enterprises getting up to 99 percent tax exemption. 

The TSC, formed in February 2015 by then Sushil Koirala government as per the TSC Act 1976, had run into controversy after a report of the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) in April called into question the Rs 21 billion tax exemption granted to various enterprises.

The TSC had received 1,726 applications seeking settlement of due tax amount worth Rs 40.8 billion. 

Published: 22-11-2017 07:54

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