#Corruption Case Involving Nepal Engineering College

Former CIAA Commissioner Pathak found guilty in corruption case

Published On: January 13, 2023 11:00 AM NPT By: Bhasa Sharma

Pathak and Lambodar Neupane sentenced to three years in jail and Rs 3.9 million in fine over a corruption case

KATHMANDU, Jan 13: The Special Court has sentenced Raj Narayan Pathak, the former commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), and a college administrator Lambodar Neupane, who bribed Pathak, to three years in jail and Rs 3.9 million in fine.

As Pathak is a former commissioner of the anti-graft body, he has been given additional three months of imprisonment along with three years. A joint bench of judges Shrikant Paudel, Yamuna Bhattarai and Balabhadra Bastola sentenced former commissioner Pathak and a college administrator Neupane, who held a public position, to prison terms and fines for corruption.

The CIAA had filed a corruption case at the Special Court on March 26, 2019, making both commissioner Pathak and Neupane defendants and demanding 7.8 million rupees each in fine. Special Court Spokesperson Dipendranath Yogi said that the court has found them guilty in the corruption case. 

Earlier, the special court had remanded Nepal Engineering College Bhaktapur Chairman Neupane and Pathak on bail by demanding 7.8 million rupees. After it became public that Neupane had paid a bribe to Pathak to settle a case, the anti-graft bod registered a case, prosecuting both the bribe taker and the giver.

As per the demand made by the anti-graft body, the Special Court demanded the bail and ordered that the case can be fought from outside the prison. The anti-graft body claimed that Pathak took a bribe of Rs 7.8 million from Neupane to settle the ownership dispute of Nepal Engineering College in Changunarayan, Bhaktapur. 

In August 2017, it was alleged that Pathak had taken money twice from Neupane, who then served as Chairman of the College Management Committee. The CIAA had mentioned in the charge sheet that the then Commissioner Pathak acted contrary to his official conduct. The CIAA’s opinion was confirmed by the audio-visual material that proved that Pathak had actually received a bribe.

It was publicised through the media that Commissioner Pathak accepted a bribe in the dispute over the grabbing of property worth one and a half billion rupees of the engineering college. After the audio and video of Pathak being bribed by Neupane through another person got public, the CIAA was under moral pressure to prosecute the case.

After the dispute, the management of the college was divided into two factions. Professor Deepak Bhattarai and former Industries Minister Hari Prasad Pandey were in one faction, while the college owner Bhattarai, who worked as principal from 2051 BS to 2067 BS, made multiple attempts to acquire land and shares. 

College Proprietor Lambodar Neupane, Engineer Lavaraj Bhattarai, Ram Ratna Upadhyaya, Surya Bahadur KC and Upendra Gautam were seen in another group. There is a total of 36 Ropani of land in the name of the college in Changunarayan.

The then Changunarayan VDC gave 174 ropani land to the college on December 30, 1996. Nepal Engineering College was established in Changunarayan at the rate of Rs 500,000 per person at Rs 3.5 million. The college was established on June 23, 1994 as an affiliated institution under Tribhuvan University and later its affiliation was changed to Pokhara University.

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