Saturday, December 15, 2007

Verdict on governor case deferred again
The much-awaited verdict on the corruption case against Governor Bijaya Nath Bhattarai did not come even on Friday as judges remained divided over the authenticity of a document.
Majority of sitting judges at the Special Court, where the case is being considered, then ordered Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank, to furnish proof of the authenticity of the letter from KPMG Sri Lanka, a consulting firm. A three-member bench has been taking up the case.
The tribunal has given a seven-day deadline for the central bank to furnish proof, while ordering its administration to present the case before the bench on December 29.
The verdict has already been deferred twice by the tribunal.
Judges Komal Nath Sharma and Cholendra SJB Rana questioned the letter from KPMG, Sri Lanka and issued an order for verification. Though Chairman of the tribunal Bhoop Dhoj Adhikari said there was no need to verify the authenticity of the document, the opinion of Sharma and Rana prevailed.
Lawyers said though it was quite common for judges to be divided while passing a verdict, it was very uncommon for judges to be divided while passing an order.
Bhattarai, along with central bank officer Surendraman Pradhan, are facing a corruption charge filed by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), the constitutional anti-graft body.
CIAA has accused Bhattarai and Pradhan of causing a loss amounting Rs 24.5 million to the public by not claiming compensations after terminating a consulting agreement unilaterally.

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