Special Court summons Gachchhadar, Basnyat over Lalita Niwas scam

Published On: March 7, 2020 09:04 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 7: The Special Court on Friday issued summons against Vice President of the Nepali Congress party Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar and former chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Deep Basnyat in connection with the Lalita Niwas land grab scam.

The Special Court has required them to appear before it within 15 days and respond to a charge-sheet filed against them by the anti-graft body over the illegal registration of public lands in the names of private individuals.

The charge-sheet claims that the two were involved in the embezzlement of more than Rs 967 million through the registration of public lands in the name of individuals.

Gachchhadar and Basnyat are among 175 individuals charge-sheeted by the anti-graft body at the Special Court on February 5 in connection with the scam. Former ministers Chandra Dev Joshi, Chhabiraj Panta and Dambar Shrestha are also among the bigwigs being prosecuted over the scam. 

The CIAA had sought a court order to bring the land back in the name of the government and impose billions in fines for wrongdoing. The anti-graft body has accused those charge-sheeted of illegally registering more than 114 ropani of Lalita Niwas land in the names of various individuals through abuse of public authority and the setting up of fake tenants for wrongfully registering the government and guthi (trusts) lands.

The anti-corruption watchdog is seeking a court order to bring the lands back in the name of the government. Some businessmen have also been accused of manipulating the authorities in connection with the land grab.

Meanwhile, the anti-graft body has sought fines of Rs 82 million from Rukma Sumsher Rana; Rs 13.5 million from Hatak Sumsher Rana; Rs 13.5 million from Heman Sumsher Rana; Rs 8.6 million from Sunita Rana; Rs 9.6 million from Suniti Rana and Rs 9.6 from Sailaja Rana for getting government land registered illegally in their names. This is in addition to retrieving the lands in question in favor of the government.

The CIAA has also brought action against Kailash Chandra Goyal of DL Developers in order to bring back land registered in the name of that firm and bring down a fine of Rs 5.44 million against it.

Various guthi (trusts) administrators and land revenue officers and other staff including Kaladhar Deuja, Semanta Raj Chapagain, Dilip Bhatta, Rameshwar Bidari and Director General of the Department of Land Revenue Ashok Nath Upreti are also prosecuted for their role in the land scam.

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