Rs 465m graft case against ex-PADT officials

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Rs 465m graft case against ex-PADT officials

Jan 23, 2015-

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed a corruption case against nine people, including CPN-UML Kathmandu District Committee Chairman Nirmal Kuikel, for embezzling Rs 465.4 million while awarding contract to a construction firm to excavate sand on a land owned by the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT).

The anti-graft body filed the case at the Special Court on Friday against the defendants--Kuikel, Sushil Nahata, Mahendra Lal Shrestha, Gopal Prasad Parajuli, Premraj Joshi, Bachchuram Dahal, Miththram Dahal, Bhisma Kumar Malla and Raj Kumar Regmi.

Nahata and Kuikel are former member secretaries of the PADT while Shrestha, Parajuli and Joshi are former local development officers (LDO) of Kathmandu.

The CIAA investigation has concluded that these five individuals were the principal figures behind the case, who abused their positions and authority for personal gain.

Investigation officer at the CIAA, Ananda Jung Thapa, said the defendants colluded with one another to misappropriate the fund while awarding the sand mining contract to CN Construction.

“They awarded the contract without following the due process and accepted the proposal of exporting sand at low rates. Sand excavation had also taken place more than what was agreed to in the contract,” Thapa said.

The charge sheet filed by the anti-graft body mentions that the LDOs allowed the operation of sand mining business illegally in collusion with the PADT officials.  

The PADT officials are also accused of letting CN Construction run its operation without conducting environment impact assessments, and breaching terms and conditions by allowing the firm to excavate sand on non-specified land.

The PADT scam is the biggest case in terms of amount embezzled after Lokman Singh Karki took charge of the CIAA in July 2013.

Karki said he was disappointed to see corruption mar an organisation responsible for developing the Pashupatinath Temple.

A source said that a large amount of money has been misused from the PADT coffers that the CIAA has yet to investigate. CIAA Spokesperson Shreedhar Sapkota said that the anti-graft agency is yet to investigate into 14 more corruption cases related to the PADT.

Published: 24-01-2015 09:14

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