Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Royal Commission initiates action on 3,400 cases

Kathmandu, June 11- The Royal Commission for Control of Corruption (RCCC) has initiated action into 3,400 cases among 3,679 complaints that were filed at the Commission.
The Commission was seriously looking into the cases of tax evasion, delay in government offices, irregular contracts, owning massive property through illegal means, negligence of responsibility and irregularities done by high level government officials, spokesman of the Commission Prem Raj Karki said.
The RCCC has found that the bureaucrats are working with sincerity in account settlement following the initiative of the Commission, Karki said.
The Commission is investigating on the alleged irregularities in CTEVT, as per the complaints filed.
The Revenue Department recently raided three business stores at the instruction of the RCCC that were suspected of tax evasion, Karki said. It has also cautioned the Customs Office at the Trivbhuvan International Airport to work according to the law and order.
Among others shoes factory, tobacco factory, different distilleries including Tribeni distillery and Karnali distillery are under investigation on charges of tax evasion, the commission said.

Supreme Court nod to govt to slap taxes

Kathmandu, June 11-The Supreme Court on friday authorised the government to impose taxes on any sector even without getting a nod from the parliament. “If here is no parliament to promulgate law, the government has the authority to slap taxes if needed by issuing ordinances,” the apex court said today while settling a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). A three-member full bench of justices Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Sharada Shrestha and Rajendra Kumar Bhandari, issued the verdict. “Since the imposition of tax is for meeting the government’s expenditure, the government has the right to impose and fix the level of taxes, if and when necessary,” the bench observed. The bench also said that the 1990 Constitution has adopted the principle of imposition of tax only after the parliament gives the nod.
“The Constitution has said that tax can only be imposed only after discussion in the House of Representatives. However, any tax can be imposed on the basis of the necessity of the country,” the bench observed. The bench was responding to a PIL filed 10 months ago by advocates Binod Karki and Rajiv Banstola, challenging the government’s increment of taxes through ordinances frequently during the government of Sher Bahadur Deuba. Legal eagles had questioned the government’s action to increase taxes frequently. The advocates had challenged the imposition of taxes accusing the government of crossing the limits of the 1990 Constitution and claimed that the increment in taxes should be scraped by the apex court. The Cabinet Secretariat and the Ministries of Finance and Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs were the defendants in the PIL.

CJ leaves for Bhutan
Kathmandu june 10-Chief Justice Hari Prasad Sharma left for Bhutan on Thursday to take part in the Eighth Conference of Chief Justices of South Asian Countries and the 11th SAARC legal conference.
The conference is scheduled to begin in Paro, Bhutan, from today.
Earlier, speaking to journalists at Tribhuvan International Airport before departure, Chief Justice Sharma said the three day conference will discuss how to make law useful to the people and for development.
He also said mutual exchange of experience will take place on how take enhance the faith of the people in the judiciary and on legal problems in development work and their resolution.
Meanwhile, the King has designated Dilip Kumar Poudel, senior-most judge at the Supreme Court, to work as officiating chief justice during his (Sharma’s) absence.

DAO act illegal: NBA president Thapa

Kathmandu june 10-President of the Nepal Bar Association, in a reply sent to the Kathamndu District Administration Office (DAO), said the DAO’s letter to summon him was illegal.
Shambhu Thapa has, moreover, suggested the DAO not to repeat such an illegal action.
Urging him to reply within three days on why action shouldn’t be taken against him, the Kathandu DAO had Tuesday ordered the NBA president to furnish his statement as to why he led a rally in a restricted area on June 4.
In the reply, Thapa said the march was held for the sake of democracy and people’s rights.
The letter sent to Thapa by Kathamndu Chief District Officer (CDO) Sushil Ghimire stated that Thapa violated clause 6(3) of the Local Administration Act, 2028 BS by leading a rally in the zone restricted by the DAO for meetings, rallies, strikes and hunger strikes.

Lawyers to stage protests

Kathmandu, June 9 - The extended meeting of Nepal Bar Association (NBA) and its Advisory Committee on Wednesday decided to stage nationwide protests this coming Monday to denounce the act of the authorities asking for written clarification from NBA President, Shambhu Thapa over Sunday's peaceful rally in the capital.
The meeting termed the act of seeking clarification from Thapa by the authorities as "unconstitutional and illegal", according to Tika Ram Bhattarai, an NBA member. The Kathmandu District Administration Office (DAO), on Tuesday, sought written clarification from Thapa over the peaceful rally staged by lawyers in "restricted areas" on Sunday.
The meeting also termed the DAO move as being against the constitution, the prevailing laws of the land and international humanitarian laws.
According to Bhattarai, all 83 NBA branches across the country will organize protest meetings on Monday afternoon.

Court orders compensation for the victim of torture

Kathmandu june 8-The District Court of Kathmandu has ordered the government to compensate a victim of torture in response to a case filed by the Centre for Victims of Torture (CVICT) on behalf of Arjun Raj Puri, a junior staff at the central jail in Kathmandu.
This is the first court verdict to compensate torture victims after the royal move of February 1.
Kathmandu district Court judge, Shambhu Bahadur Karki, ordered a compensation of Rs 35,000 to Puri.
With legal assistance from CVICT, Puri had filed a case at the court against then Police Inspector at the Central Jail Bashudev Sharma Pandit for detaining him in his quarter and torturing him.
According to Puri, Pundit detained him and gave physical and mental torture as he foiled Pundit’s efforts to rape a woman.
The Court said it was not necessary to take departmental action against Inspector Pundit as he was already dismissed from the job for providing cellular mobile phone facility to notorious criminal, Charles Shovraj.
In a statement, CVICT—a pioneer non-governmental organization that provides rehabilitation and legal services to torture victims—said though the tendency to torture people was on the rise after the onset of the Maoist insurgency, the tendency to seek legal treatment was still low.
The organisation said various courts had ordered the authorities to provide compensation in 19 cases among 106 cases filed at the court demanding compensation to the victims of torture after the enforcement of the 'Torture Compensation Act eight years ago

Supreme Court order released Pokharel
Kathmandu june 8-In response to habeas corpus petition filed on his behalf Former minister and UML standing committee member, Ishwar Pokharel was released. The apex court had established Pokharel’s detention as 'illegal' and ordered his release.
Following the court’s order, authorities brought Pokharel to Kathmandu from Rajbiraj by a helicopter on Wednesday morning.
Pokharel was arrested in eastern Saptari district soon after the royal proclamation of February 1 and detained in Rajbiraj jail.
Police had re-arrested Pokharel as soon as he was released as per the court’s order in Rajbiraj.

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