Graft case against trio to be filed tomorrow

  • tsc officials in the dock
  • Registration could not be completed on Friday due to time constraints
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 15, 2017-

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA)’s bid to file a Rs 10-billion graft case against three members of the Tax Settlement Commission (TSC) at the Special Court failed on Friday as the registration process could not be completed due to time constraints.

TSC Chairman LD Mahat, member Umesh Dhakal and member secretary Chudamani Sharma, the suspended director general of the Inland Revenue Department, stand accused of embezzling revenue and settling tax in a dubious away. Sharma is in CIAA custody since June 2, while Mahat and Dhakal are at large. 

The CIAA on Thursday had said it would file a chargesheet against the trio on Friday. 

According to CIAA sources, the anti-graft body is in the process of filing the case against the trio, charging each of them with embezzling over Rs 10 billion in the largest corruption chargesheet prepared by the CIAA ever. 

CIAA officials took Sharma and bundles of files to the Special Court at 10am on Friday. 

But since a hearing on writ of habeas corpus seeking Sharma’s release was scheduled at the Supreme Court, he was then taken to the apex court at around 11:15am. 

After the Supreme Court decided to continue hearing on Sunday, the CIAA team again reached the Special Court at around 2.55pm. 

“As office hours were already over, we told the CIAA officials to come on Sunday along with Sharma to complete the case registration process,” said Jagannath Poudel, spokesperson for the Special Court.  “Verification process took a long time due to the sheer number of files the CIAA has brought.” 

Making a brief comment, Sharma told journalists on the Special Court premises that he would “see what the court does”. Earlier when he was taken to the Special Court on June 4 to extend his judicial custody, Sharma had accused the CIAA of making a mockery of law by arresting him. 

The TSC, formed in February 2015, 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 CIAA investigation shows the TSC had given tax waiver even to the enterprises that were seeking to pay tax dues. Even those who had missed registering applications within the set deadline for settlement of due taxes were also given tax waiver by keeping prior date of deadline for application, according to CIAA officials.

The OAG report has also questioned the intent of the TSC after it gave tax exemption of over 99 percent to many private firms. 

Published: 15-07-2017 07:13

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