KATHMANDU, Oct 9: The Supreme Court has issued an interim order against the government's decision to sack controversial managing director of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Gopal Khadka.
A single bench of Justice Purushottam Bhandari issued the interim order, while also issuing a show cause notice to the government against Khadka's dismissal from the post. The apex court order has paved the way for Khadka to return to his NOC job.
A cabinet meeting on September 18 had relieved Khadka of his responsibilities concluding that he committed financial embezzlement while procuring land plots to build oil storage facilities for NOC in various parts of the country. The decision of the government comes in the wake of the media exposing a series of investigative reports on Khadka's involvement in the multi-million rupees financial irregularities.
Various parliamentry panels had also concluded that there was a serious foul play in the NOC's land procurement deal as the state monopoly was found to have paid as high as four times the market price to purchase plots of land to build storage facilities in Rupandehi, Chitwan, Sarlahi and Jhapa districts. It is estimated that at least Rs 700m was 'stolen' in Rs 1.5b NOC land deal.
The corporation had allocated Rs 6 billion to procure land plots in all seven provinces to build storage facilities. The embezzlement was committed while procuring the lands worth Rs 1.61 billion in four places.