Former CIAA commissioner Pathak reaches court to record statement

Former commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Raj Narayan Pathak, who is facing a corruption case, has produced himself before the Special Court on Wednesday.

Chairman of the Special Court Justice Baburam Regmi, and Justices Dwarika Joshi and Pramod Kumar Shrestha Baidya are recording Pathak’s statement, according to Spokesperson at the court Pushpa Raj Pandey.

Pathak has reached the court within the deadline it had issued.

The CIAA on March 26 had lodged corruption case against Pathak for taking a bribe of Rs 7.80 million.

The CIAA had lodged the case naming Pathak and promoter of Nepal Engineering College Lambodar Neupane, who gave bribe to Pathak, as defendants. The charge sheet demands action against Pathak as per the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002.

The CIAA had also submitted audio and video recordings about the bribery scam to the Special Court.

Any office-bearer who takes bribe of Rs 5-10 million is liable for a jail term of 6-8 years, and should pay the claim amount and a fine equal to the claim amount, as per the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002. But the offender will get an additional three-year sentence if the person is an office-bearer at constitutional bodies appointed by the president.

Pathak had resigned as CIAA commissioner on February 15 following news reports about a video of Pathak taking bribe from Neupane.

Nepalkhabar news portal had published a news report about a video of Pathak taking bribe from Neupane on February 6.

The ruling CPN had initiated discussion about registering impeachment motion against Pathak the next day after the news of Pathak taking a bribe of Rs 7.80 million from promoter of the college which faced ownership dispute, was published.

CPN leaders had advised Pathak to resign and warned him of impeachment if he did not resign. The party had prepared to register impeachment motion but Pathak resigned after getting a whiff of impending impeachment.

Neupane was trying to privatize public properties worth Rs 1.50 billion handed over to the college by the then Changu Narayan VDC. The issue came to the fore when the promoters themselves started to bicker.

The Education and Health Committee of the parliament earlier had instructed the government to make the college a public property.



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