Monday, January 09, 2006

RNA welfare fund case deferred

Kathmandu, Jan 9-The Supreme Court on sunday deferred for the fourth time a final hearing of the controversial case regarding “misuse” of the Welfare Fund of the Royal Nepalese Army, without citing any reason.

A bench of Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and ad hoc judge Rajendra Prasad Koirala postponed the case, which was supposed to have seen the final hearing from sunday.

The case, filed by chairman of the Council of Ex-armymen Ambar Bahadur Thapa Magar, has been pending at the SC for the last four years. The petitioner had sought a SC order to the government and the RNA, directing them to make public the expenditure details of the welfare fund. The petitioner alleged that the fund had been misused by high-ranking RNA officials.

He had also sought a SC order to the government and RNA to provide facilities to personnel as per the agreement between the government and the UN while deploying them in peace- keeping missions abroad.

Recently, the Auditor General’s report pointing out “flaws” in the use of the RNA Welfare Fund was produced before the apex court. The audit report recommended the RNA formulate specific policies under which to spend the fund. Meanwhlie, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Rana Bahadur Thebe, accused the SC of being insensitive to such a sensitive case.

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