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Special Court releases disgraced anti-graft commissioner Pathak on Rs 7.8 million bail

  • Raj Naryan Pathak faces charge of receiving bribe to settle an engineering college dispute
- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

May 16, 2019-

The Special Court on Wednesday released Narayan Pathak, former commissioner of Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, on Rs7.8 million bail.

Pathak is facing corruption charges for taking Rs 7.8 million from some individuals promising to settle a dispute related to Nepal Engineering College.

A joint bench of judges Babu Ram Regmi, Dwarikaman Joshi and Pramod Kumar Shrestha Vaidya decided to release Pathak on bail of Rs7.8 million, the amount Pathak is accused of receiving in bribe, according to Puspa Raj Pandya, spokesperson for the Special Court.

The anti-graft agency had filed a corruption case at the Special Court against Pathak on March 26, after conducting an investigation into several leaked audio and videos that showed he had accepted the bribe from a group led by Lambodar Kumar Neupane, one of the board directors of Changunarayan-based Nepal Engineering College.

After a complaint was registered against an attempt to capture the property of the college by the group led by Neupane, the group had sought Pathak’s help to settle the issue in their favour.

After he failed to settle the case, the group had made his video and blackmailed him to return the money. After the audio and videos were leaked, Pathak had resigned on February 15.

One and a half months after the anti-graft agency filed the corruption case against Pathak, he had reached the Special Court as per the notice served by the court.

According to Pandya, the court took his statement first and the hearing took place later to decide whether to release him or imprison him.

“After the hearing completed, the court decided to release him provided he submitted cash or bank guarantee,” he said.

Pathak’s is a rare example in which an official from the anti-corruption agency has been facing trial for corruption.

The CIAA said Pathak had accepted the bribe from Neupane through Gyanendra Kumar Jha, a cadre of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal.

The anti-graft body has also made Neupane a defendant in the case.

But, Neupane, however, managed to flee the country after appearing at the CIAA only one. Documents from the college showed that he had made several attempts to capture the properties of the college.

In the charge-sheet, the CIAA has sought a maximum prison term of 11 years for Pathak, confiscation of the graft amount and a fine equivalent to the graft as per the Corruption Prevention Act.

In the case of Neupane, the CIAA has sought eight years in jail, confiscation of graft amount and a fine equivalent to the graft amount.

Pathak was earlier also embroiled in a controversy over intervention in the entrance exam at Kathmandu University and affiliation to various medical colleges when the CIAA was led by Lokman Singh Karki, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in January 2017 from heading the anti-graft body.

Published: 16-05-2019 10:59

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