Friday, January 27, 2006

CIAA cannot issue mandamus orders: SC

Kathmandu, Jan 27- A three-member special bench of Justices Anup Raj Sharma, Badri Kumar Basnet and Kalyan Shrestha issued the order responding to a writ petition filed against the anti-graft said the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) cannot issue mandamus orders.

The bench also ordered that the CIAA cannot exercise the power to issue directive to any body though Clause 12(a) and (b) of the CIAA Act 2002 gives it the authority to recommend any government body or official to correct the mischief of any official. The bench added that these provisions did not contradict with the Constitution as claimed by the writ petitioner. These provisions authorise the CIAA to recommend any body or official to correct their mischief committed while performing duty.

The bench issued clean chit to Dhungel, who was convicted by the anti-corruption panel of in corruption case while he was on duty. “The CIAA has no authority to issue such mandamus orders,” the bench observed.

“The CIAA had convicted him without seeking any clarification from him. His statement given to the CIAA cannot be termed clarification,” the bench observed.

On November 18, 2004, the CIAA had decided to take action against Dhungel for illegally appointing his sister-in-law Sabitri Rimal as assistant administrator in the varsity and promoted staffers close to him though they were not eligible. Dhungel was accused of illegally promoting typists Nima DC, Prem Bahadur Chitrakar and Krishna Prasad Lamichhane.

The CIAA had ordered the MSU to get back from Dhungel Rs 1,94,242 used to provide salaries to the illegal appointee and the promotees. The anti-corruption panel had also directed the varsity to get back Rs 2,72,025 from the ex-vice-chancellor, which he had allegedly used from the varsity fund meant for travel and daily allowances.

The CIAA had also directed the Nepal Rastra Bank and Ministry of Land Reform and Management to freeze Dhungel’s bank accounts and properties. The CIAA had claimed that Dhungel had attended his Dang office only 52 days though he was the V-C for about 20 months. According to the records, during the remaining period Dhungel was in Kathmandu or India and availed of travel and daily allowances.
The anti-graft body had also directed the MSU to sack vice-chancellor’s sister-in-law Sabitri Rimal and to correct all his mistakes committed by Dhungel during his tenure.

Former vice-chancellor of the Mahendra Sanskrit University (MSU), Acharya Purna Chandra Dhungel filed writ petition against the anti-graft the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) more than a year ago.

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