CIAA wants MWU VC, three officials suspended

- BHADRA SHARMA, Kathmandu

Aug 6, 2014-

The newly-established Mid-Western University is running without top officials after the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) suspended them on the charge of being involved in corruption.

A day after suspending 14 senior officials, including deans of five faculties, the CIAA on Wednesday directed Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to suspend the university’s Vice-chancellor Padam Lal Devkota and three other officials. Other officials recommended for the suspension include the University Service Commission member Prof Navaraj Kandel, member Shreeram Prasad Upadhyay and Registrar Thakendra Prakash Giri. The anti-graft body recommended them for suspension fearing that they could influence investigation if they were allowed to continue their job. The CIAA instructed the government to suspend VC Devkota and others after a preliminary investigation carried out by the anti-graft body showed their involvement in irregularities.

PM Koirala, who is also chancellor of the university, was asked to produce the accused before the CIAA to support the investigation. Additionally, the PM’s Office was also asked to take immediate measures for smooth operation of the university.

The anti-graft body has been investigating into the matter following complaints that the university officials embezzled millions of rupees in constructing university building, procuring logistics and abused their authorities while appointing officials and operating university’s fund. CIAA source said the officials were suspended before dragging them to the court.

Established in 2009 at Birendranagar in Surkhet, the university is offering various courses from Bachelor to Master’s levels.

Earlier, the CIAA had investigated into the corruption scandals of Purbanchal University and the university was left without senior officials after they were suspended and subsequently charge-sheeted for corruption.

Eight officials taken into custody

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Wednesday took eight senior officials of the Ministry of Health and Population whom the anti-graft body had earlier suspended on charges of corruption.

Those arrested by the CIAA include former Director Ananda Kumar Shrestha, Senior Public Health Officer Ratnalal Shrestha, Section Officer Rupnarayan Khatiwada, Account Officer Yaduyaraj Sharma, Pharmasist Bharatmani Marhatta, Public Health Inspector Ramsharan Adhikari, Ramji Ghimire and Kabiraj Subedi.

The health officials accused of gobbling up millions of rupees by producing fake bills of stationery, packaged lunch and a fake airplane ticket with fare inflated twice were summoned before the commission for interrogation but were later taken into custody for further investigation. Public Health Administrator Madan Kumar Shrestha and Section Officer Dol Raj Sharma, who were also suspended in the fake bill scam, however, are still at large. They have been accused of embezzling huge amount of public fund for providing basic health services to public and decreasing the mortality rate through programmes like free distribution of essential medicines in various districts.

Published: 07-08-2014 09:15

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