CIAA demands immediate probe into MPs and officials with foreign citizenship

Published On: June 13, 2024 09:55 AM NPT By: Tapendra Karki

KATHMANDU, June 13: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has instructed the government to immediately investigate the issue of Members of Parliament (MPs), civil servants, and public officials holding foreign citizenship and residence permits. However, the letter with this instruction has been gathering dust at the Prime Minister's Office for a considerable time.

An instruction letter sent by the CIAA on April 22 was forwarded to Joint Secretary Narayan Bhatta on the same day by Chief Secretary Baikuntha Aaryal. However, two weeks later, when Rameshwor Dangal, secretary at the CIAA, inquired about the status of the letter with Krishna Hari Puskar, secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, the letter was nowhere to be found. The letter was only discovered after persistent follow-ups by the CIAA.

A source from the CIAA said, “The letter was sent to the Prime Minister's Office on April 22 but we did not get any reply. Then we started to inquire about the status of the letter.” 

The government has not provided a satisfactory explanation regarding the whereabouts of the letter after it was handed over by the Chief Secretary to Bhatta on the same day.

The CIAA issued the instruction after it was discovered that some public officials had obtained foreign citizenship and residence permits. There were rumors within the Prime Minister’s Office that the current Chief Secretary, Aaryal, had appointed individuals with foreign citizenship and residence permits during his tenure as Secretary of Communication. Aaryal has denied these allegations, stating, “I did not keep that letter on my desk. I sent it to the administration on the same day. The implementation process should be carried out from there.”

Aaryal said that Secretary Puskar is responsible for managing and processing the details. “After I sign the letter, it will be moved to the desk of Krishna Hari Puskar, and the process will continue from there,” Aaryal said.

The CIAA wrote the letter to the Prime Minister’s Office after receiving complaints about government employees and politically-appointed officials holding foreign citizenship and residence permits. According to the CIAA, there were complaints that some incumbent secretaries had obtained foreign citizenship and residence permits, prompting the anti-graft body to instruct the government to investigate and initiate action against ministers, MPs, high-ranking officers, and politically-appointed individuals.

The CIAA has been persistent in urging the government to implement standards, procedures, and guidelines regarding appointments of individuals with foreign citizenship and residence permits in public bodies. Article 291 of the Constitution of Nepal outlines disqualifications for appointments, stating that a Nepali citizen holding a permanent residence permit of a foreign country shall not be eligible for election or appointment to any public position.

Investigation on two individuals

The investigation has commenced on two high-ranking individuals suspected of acquiring foreign citizenship and residence permits. The CIAA has initiated the investigation based on complaints received and is currently inquiring with the relevant countries to determine the status of these individuals.




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