KATHMANDU, Nov 29: Chudamani Sharma, former official of the Tax Clearance Commission (TCC), was released on Tuesday after depositing a bail of Rs 10 million sought by the Special Court.
Sharma is one among three officials of the commission facing charges of giving tax rebate amounting to Rs 10.2 billion to various business groups improperly. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed the cases against the three.
“We released him after he deposited the bail amount,” Special Court Spokesperson Nagendra Keshari Pokharel told Republica. “Nepal Investment Bank, Durbar Marg branch stood guarantee for Sharma's bail,” he added.
The other two facing corruption cases at the court, Lumbadhwaj Mahat, former chairman of the commisssion, and Umesh Prasad Dhakal, former member, were already released after each of them deposited Rs 10 million bail.
Claiming that the officials had given tax rebate improperly when they were in the official positions in 2015 and they were involved in corruption, the CIAA invoking Section 3(h) of Corruption Prevention Act, 2002 had filed the cases seeking up to ten years jail and fine equal to the amount they amassed. The anti-graft body accused the officials of committing crime in violation of Section 7 of the Act, according to which granting improper tax rebate is also regarded as corruption.
The CIAA, in its charge sheet, has stated that the officials had also accepted fake VAT bills; granted permissions even to withdraw sub judice cases in the Revenue Tribunal; received back-dated applications and falsifying the official records; allowed withdrawal of pending cases not under the commission's jurisdictions and gave tax rebates even when they were ready to pay in full.
On August 11, the Supreme Court had released Sharma through a habeas corpus order although the corruption case had already been filed at the Special Court. The Supreme Court while releasing Sharma had stated that the CIAA had sought unusually high amount of bail [CIAA had sought Rs 3 billion in bail] from Sharma in contradiction to Section 19(4) of the CIAA Act, 1991.