Monday, September 26, 2005

SC Gives Clean Chit to CIAA Chief

Kathmandu Sept 26-The Supreme Court on Monday has dismissed a writ petition filed against chief of the top anti-corruption body in the country.

A division bench comprising Justices Kedar Prasad Giri and Sharada Prasad Pandit dismissed a writ petition filed by lawyers Saroj Kumar Sharma and Lila Raj Koirala claiming that chief of the Commission for Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Surya Nath Upadhyay, was involved in irregularities in the Bagmati and Mahakali irrigation projects while he served as Secretary at the Ministry of Water Resources.

CIAA is a constitutional body that is authorized to investigate and file cases into cases of corruption from Prime Minister to a low level government employee.

Unlike the Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC), the CIAA has to file cases at the courts and await court verdict.

The RCCC, constituted after the royal takeover this year, however, has been empowered to investigate, charge sheet and hear case at its own ‘ijlas’ on corruption cases.

Critics say the power entrusted to the RCCC is simply against the principle of natural justice.

Petitions challenging the constitutionality of the RCCC are being heard by the country’s apex court.

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