The controversial Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC) has summoned former minister and CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal in connection with eight-year-old case of leasing of China South West Airlines (CSWA).
In a letter handed over to Rawal on Sunday, the Commission asked Rawal to report to the commission within 24 hours.
Reports say the RCCC is looking into the case of alleged irregularities while leasing the CSWA aircraft for the national flag carrier, Royal Nepalese Airlines Corporation (RNAC). Rawal was the Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation when the deal was made.
Rawal has been accused of irregularity by fixing the daily fare of USD 3150 while leasing the CSWA aircraft instead of USD 2800 as mentioned in the lease agreement.
This is the first time RCCC has summoned a UML leader on corruption charge. Interestingly, the RCCC reopened the case, in which the committee for investigation of abuse of authority (CIAA), after a thorough investigation, had also given a clean chit to him. The CIAA had investigated the case after the Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives had referred the case to the constitutional anti-graft body. Rawal could not be contacted for comment. The UML’s central committee meeting today condemned the RCCC action against Rawal. The meeting said this was a blatant attack on the constitutionalism by intervening in a case settled by the constitutional body.
RCCC has been empowered to investigate, prosecute and hand out judgment on cases of corruption. Legal experts say such a mandate is simply against the natural law of justice.