Tuesday, August 30, 2005

RCCC takes formal minister Rawal into custody

Kathmandu Aug 30-Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC) has taken former minister and UML leader, Bhim Rawal, into custody Tuesday morning.
As per the order of the Commission, police arrested Rawal from his residence at Ghattekulo at around 9:45 a. m. He has been taken at the Commission’s office at Pulchowk and RCCC officials are said to be inquiring him about his role
On Sunday, the controversial Commission had summoned Rawal to be present before it in connection with the investigation on leasing of a China South West Airlines plane by the state-run Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation in the mid-nineties.
Instead of obliging the RCCC, Rawal filed a petition at the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the Commission’s authority (to summon him) and urging the apex court to issue an interim order.
Preliminary hearings on Rawal’s petition is scheduled to take place at the apex court this afternoon.
Meanwhile, legal community in the country were dismayed at the RCCC’s act of `detaining’ Rawal after he had approached the Supreme Court for protection against ‘illegal detention.’
The constitution of the kingdom of Nepal, 1990, guarantees the citizen’s right against illegal detention.
Rawal instead yesterday choose to go to Supreme Court against the commission saying the summon was unconstitutional. Rawal had argued that the summon was extra-constitutional as the constitutionally-formed anti-graft body — the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority — has already given him clean chit in the case.
The commission has accused Rawal of corruption in the hiring on lease of the aircraft by the Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation during his tanure at the minister for tourism and civil aviation.

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