Owner gives ex-prez 15 days to vacate house

  • Bista complains about delay in payment of rent and utility bills
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 7, 2017-

A public notice by the owner of the house the government has rented for former President Ram Baran Yadav has once again turned the spotlight on procedural confusion as well as mishandling of affairs related to the former head of state. 

Ravi Bhakta Bista, who owns the house where Yadav has been accommodated for the last two years, in the public notice has demanded that his house be vacated and all the dues be cleared within 15 days. Bista in his notice has claimed that no contract has been signed since mid-July for using the house. Rent and utility bills also are due, the notice says. He has threatened to take legal step if his house is not vacated within the given deadline. 

This is the second time the house owner has raised the issue of rent and utility bills. Earlier on June 18 last year, he had moved Lalitpur District Court seeking payment of rent and utility bills of the house. The Office of the President, which bears the responsibility of paying the house rent for the former head of state and deputy head of state, had paid Rs1.23 million later following which the earlier dispute was resolved.

Yadav, who was elected the first President of republic Nepal on July 21, 2008, served as the head of state for more than seven years before retiring in October 2015 after the promulgation of the new constitution. 

He has been living in the house at Bagdol in Lalitpur-4 since October 19, 2015.  

The President’s Office had paid the rent monthly rent of Rs 144,445 from mid-July 2016 to mid-July 2017 (fiscal year 2016/17). But it stopped paying the rent after the Cabinet in February decided to give Rs 200,000 in lump sum to the former president. The Cabinet had decided that a former head of state who does not own a house in the Capital will be entitled to Rs 200,000 a month. This decision meant the secretariat of the former President had to manage house rent and other utility bills from that amount.

Krishna Murari Neupane, information officer at Office of the President, told the Post that procedural dilemma resulted in the delay in payment of the rent. “We have written to the secretariat of the former President to claim the money. However, it hasn’t taken the money so far,” Neupane told the Post. 

Officials at the secretariat of the former President, however, have different say. 

Kiran Panthi, personal assistant to former President Yadav, said the former head of state wants the government to pay the rent and other utility bills instead of him or his office directly getting involved in the matter. 

“The rent for the house where he is living is far less than what the state has allocated. He is of the view that the money is too much,” said Panthi, adding that he would talk to the officials of the Office of the President on Tuesday to find a solution.

He also expressed displeasure at the unnecessary controversy saying the ex-President wants a permanent solution to the issue.

Published: 07-11-2017 07:15

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