CIAA, MPs least interested to implicate Pathak in bribery case

Published On: February 17, 2019 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 17: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and parliament seem indifferent toward initiating probe into former CIAA commissioner Raj Narayan Pathak's involvement in a bribery case despite promising to investigate into the issue.

Their unwillingness to take Pathak into custody and initiate probe into his involvement following his resignation on Friday after his involvement in the scam was made public has left the public skeptical whether he will ever be implicated.

Asked whether the anti-graft body has initiated probe into Pathak's bribery case or not, CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwar Dangal said he was not informed about the matter. The anti-graft body, which often conducts sting operation round the clock to arrest junior government officials, after getting a tip off, has not taken any initiative to arrest its own commissioner even after he admitted his involvement in bribery.

The anti-graft body itself provides bait money as part of its support to conduct sting operation to trap bribe seeking government officials. But the anti-graft body is reluctant to arrest Pathak.

Admitting his involvement in receiving Rs 7.8 million as bribe from a Bhaktapur-based college, Pathak has already resigned from his position. But still, the anti-graft body has not arrested the accused Pathak despite mounting pressure from the general public on CIAA, parliament and the government.

The commissioner had received the bribe to settle the ownership row of Bhaktapur-based Nepal Engineering College.

“CIAA has not done anything so far. I'm not aware about this bribe scandal,” said CIAA Spokesperson Dangal.

Shortly after the bribery case was reported by media, parliamentarians had warned of impeaching the bribe accused commissioner.

After he resigned to avoid impeachment, lawmakers have remained silent about initiating investigation into the bribe case. They have stopped talking about Pathak's involvement in the bribey case.

Likewise, the government is also mum about Pathak's case after he stepped down. When asked whether the government is consulting with the lawmakers in holding Pathak accountable for his involvement in bribery, Kundan Aryal, press advisor to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, said he has no idea about it.

“I have no idea, better consult with the CIAA,” said Aryal.

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