National

Graft case filed against former Nepal Oil Corporation chief Khadka

  • Charges ex-NOC chief with amassing property worth Rs186m illegally
- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Jan 7, 2019-

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Monday filed a corruption case at the Special Court against former Nepal Oil Corporation managing director Gopal Bahadur Khadka on the charge of amassing property worth Rs186.6 million illegally.

CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwor Dangal told the Post that it is probably the largest corruption case ever filed by the anti-graft body relating to the accumulation of properties through illegal means.

Khadka faces a long list of corruption allegations during his long career in government services in different offices.

The anti-graft body has also been conducting a separate probe into Khadka’s involvement in alleged corruption in the purchase of land in different places when he was the managing director of NOC.

The probe conducted by different parliamentary committees under the erstwhile parliament had stated that at least Rs1.26 billion was misappropriated in the land purchase deals made by the state-owned oil monopoly.

According to the CIAA probe, Khadka had not only amassed property illegally, but had also hidden property worth over Rs70 million in the names of other people. Khadka was found hiding the illegally amassed properties in the name of his wife--Sharmila Khadka--and Amita Lama Sodemba. Property worth Rs75.47 million was hidden in the name of Lama Sodemba.  

A house at CG Hills Housing at Hattigauda area, eight aana land at Budhanilkantha, a Tucson car, amount paid to purchase a house developed by CG Developers, were hidden in the name of Lama.

Khadka himself was carrying out transactions from the bank account of Lama Sodemba remained at NMB Bank and Citizen Bank.

The anti-graft body also confiscated the “good for payment” cheque issued by Khadka to make advance payment of Rs8.98 million to purchase land at Budhanilkantha area of Kathmandu and submitted to the court.  

Investigation has shown that Khadka earned Rs86.46 million legally since March 15, 2013. But his expenditure and investment remained far above than what he legally earned. He had spent and invested Rs273.07 million in the five year since 2013. Deducting his legal earning from the total amount that he spent and invested, Khadka has failed to show the source of Rs 186.6 million, the CIAA said in a statement. The anti-graft body has sought penalty of up to five years of imprisonment, fine equivalent to illegally earned property, and confiscation of illegally earned property.

Although the maximum jail-term for accumulation of illegal property as per Clause 20 (2) of Corruption Prevention Act 2002 is two years, the CIAA has sought additional three years jail term as per Clause 24 of the same law because he had retired as a special class government officer.

Khadka has been a controversial figure as he has been named in a number of irregularities in different offices he had worked during his career in the government service.

He was accused of colluding with property brokers to purchase lands for the NOC in Jhapa, Sarlahi, Chitwan and Rupandehi districts at prices higher by three to four times above the going rates.

Similarly, the NOC under Khadka’s leadership had also allowed 17 gas plants to expand their branches going against the commitment of merging the gas plants to make the sector systematic. He had also  allowed the blacklisted company, Birat Petroleum, to import fuel while releasing Rs180 million in the company’s name.

He was also accused of a number of irregularities when he had headed the Division Road Office, Kathmandu. An audit conducted by Office of Auditor General had found that the office, under Khadka’s leadership, had made payment to  contractors for using new stones and construction materials without calculating the use of existing construction materials. A probe panel led by immediate Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office Jaya Mukunda Khanal had also pointed out irregularities in Division Road Office, Kathmandu, recommending additional probe and action against the culprits.

Income Statement

Earning from remuneration:     Rs4.05m

Land sales    Rs5.87m

Borrowing    Rs53.33m

Earning from house rent    Rs1.35m

Retirement benefits    Rs2.92m

Pension     Rs1.47m

Remittance income    Rs0.82m

Vehicle sales    Rs3.5m

Son/daughter-in-law remuneration     Rs1.10m

Miscellaneous earning    Rs12.01m

Total    Rs86.46m

Expenses/Investment

Land and property purchase    Rs116.14m

Share purchase    Rs10.60m

Repayment of loans    Rs42.29m

Loans provided personally     Rs12.56m

Donations and assistance     Rs11.77m

Expenses for children/social events    Rs2.51m

Vehicle purchase    Rs11.74m

Expenses for shopping     Rs18.01m

Cash in banks and cooperatives    Rs27.15m

Miscellaneous spending/invesment    Rs20.27m

Total    Rs273.07m

 

Published: 07-01-2019 18:55

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