Bikram Pandey freed after depositing Rs 40m bail

Published On: January 17, 2019 10:56 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 17: Former forest minister and chairman of Kalika Construction Bikram Pandey, who is facing a corruption case at the Special Court, was released on Wednesday after posting a bail of Rs 40 million.

Pandey, who was on the run, appeared before the Special Court on Wednesday and deposited the bail amount as sought by a three-member bench of justices Baburam Regmi, Chandi Dhakal and Narayan Pokhrel following a hearing. Earlier, the court had given Pandey 15 days to surrender before the court and Wednesday was the last day for surrender. 

On December 7, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed corruption cases against 21 individuals including Pandey on the charge of corruption in the construction of Sikta Irrigation Project. When around 35 kilometers of the concrete barrier of the channel had broken down during its trial period long before completion of the project, the anti graft body investigated into the case.

The anti-graft body, in its charge-sheet, has accused Pandey of embezzling Rs 2,137,679,920 by using low quality materials in the under-construction Sikta project. Pandey is a former minister for forest and soil conservation.

The anti-graft body had also filed a graft-case against Sikta project chief Saroj Chandra Pandit, accusing him of misappropriating Rs 593,452,594.03 during the project construction.

The others facing graft charges include Ramesh Basnet (Rs 2,137,679,920.31), Dilip Bahadur Karki (Rs 1,568,283,199.18), Shushil Chandra Devkota (Rs 585,924,719.28), Shyam Bahadur Karki (Rs 523,665,150. 75), Surya Dev Thapa (Rs 272,259,321.06), Yogendra Mishra (Rs 272,259,321.06), Krishana Prasad (Rs 170,843, 605.82), Prem Raj Ghimire (Rs 104,015,343.13), Bir Singh Dhami (Rs 11 8,559, 745. 73), Prakash Bahadur Karki (Rs 9,0152,713. 47) and Uddhav Raj Chaulagain (Rs 24,055,872.90).

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