Govt. attorney pleads against incumbent ministers
Kathmandu Sept 21-Government attorneys have demanded that the Supreme Court (SC) name two ministers in the cabinet, Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi and Assistant Minister for Education and Sports Senate Shrestha, as convicts on charges of corruption.
Presenting his arguments on behalf of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Monday, attorney, Brajesh Pyakurel, pleaded that the ministers duo be declared as defaulters.
A three-member bench of justices Kedar Prasad Giri and Arjun Prasad Singh is hearing the case.
The CIAA filed cases against Shahi and Shrestha accusing them of being involved in corruption.The CIAA had lodged the case against Shahi- the then Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture—during the last days of the Panchayat system. The anti-graft constitutional body claimed that Shahi, along with the then minister for agriculture Padma Sundar Lawati, had direct involvement in the smuggling of chemical fertiliser from India, causing revenue losses worth billions of rupees.
Assistant Minister Shrestha was the local agent of the foreign fertilizer company.
The Patan Appellate Court had, however, provided them clean chit to the accused in the case.
The CIAA had taken the case before the SC challenging the Appellate Court’s decision. Following the preliminary hearing on the case, the apex court went through the evidences related to it and has already ordered Shahi and Shrestha to appear before the court. The final hearings on the case will begin next week.
The government attorney pleaded the bench that the decision of the appellate court to issue verdict in favour of the accused on grounds that they refused the charges was inappropriate.
“The accused, in their statements in connection with this case, have opposed the charges against them. If we go on giving clean chit to the defaulters on the ground that they refused to admit charges, the volume of corruption and number of corrupt persons will keep on increasing,” Pyakurel argued.
The CIAA has claimed that the accused were involved in an embezzlement worth more than Rs. 40 billion.
Pyakurel demanded the apex to examine all the evidences before reaching a decision on the case. The documents related to the fertiliser purchase scam do carry ample proofs to prove that that there were irregularities and the accused had been involved in it, he said.