KATHMANDU, Oct 4: The Britain-Nepal Academic Council (BNAC) and more than 90 academics working in the field of social science have expressed their deep concerns over the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority's (CIAA's) action to ask the Social Welfare Council to investigate against Social Science Baha.
"The CIAA has, of course, every right to investigate whichever governmental body it chooses in its mission to prevent corruption in Nepal," stated a recent statement issued by BNAC and academics.
"We note that the CIAA has already been accused of overstepping its remit by important voices within Nepal," read the statement further.
The BNAC has also claimed that it has not experienced any misallocation or irregularities within the Baha. "Based on our substantial experience of working together with SSB, including detailed budget oversight of specific projects, we can say unequivocally that we have not experienced any misallocation or 'irregularities'. We have full confidence in the high standards of account-keeping of the SSB," stated the BNAC.
Among the eminent academics to extend solidarity with BNAC position are Professor David Gellner at University of Oxford, Professor Surya Subedi at University of Leeds, Professor Lionel Caplan at South Asian Anthropology, Dr Chandra Laksamba at Centre for Nepal Studies UK, Professor Barbara Brower at Portland State University, USA and many others.
Earlier, the anti-graft body, issuing a press release last week had alleged that the Alliance for Social Dialogue was an NGO operating illegally without proper registration. The CIAA had also accused the Social Science Baha of being involving in irregularities of funds received through donors. The CIAA had separately written to the Lalitpur District Administration Office and Social Welfare Council to look into the matter and take action against Baha and the Alliance.
Refuting the CIAA allegations, Social Science Baha has already said that the commission misinterpreted the facts and alleged the NGO for misappropriation of funds. The NGO has also clarified that Alliance for Social Dialogue is a program sanctioned by the concerned government authority, Social Welfare Council.