KATHMANDU, March 26: The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed a corruption case against its own former commissioner, Raj Narayan Pathak, on Tuesday, over allegations of his involvement in a bribery scandal involving Rs 7.8 million.
CIAA Spokesperson Pradip Kumar Koirala has informed that the case was filed against former commissioner Pathak at the Special Court for the abuse of authority by taking a bribe of Rs 7.8 million on settlement of dispute relating to an engineering college.
Likewise, the anti-graft body has filed a case against Lambodar Neupane, college management committee chief of Bhaktapur-based Nepal Engineering College in the same case.
A dispute had emerged over the ownership of the engineering college. Neupane, who chaired the college management committee, was for changing the college registered as a non-profit into a private company and registering it at the Company Registrar's Office. But other committee members opposed the idea. They registered a complaint at the CIAA back in July.
At the time Pathak used to oversee corruption cases at the CIAA related to the education sector. Shortly after the complaint was registered, he summoned Lambodar to discuss the matter. At the meeting Pathak demanded Rs. 3.8 million and promised to favor transforming the college registration. Pathak later demanded an additional Rs 4 million, arguing that this was a dispute involving billions.
'If you don't give me the additional amount I will take you into custody,” Pathak reportedly warned Lambodar. Neupane capitulated and provided the additional money as demanded.
Pathak, however, didn't initiate any step toward helping transform the college into a private organization. Asked about the delay, Pathak promised to settle the matter himself once he took charge as CIAA chief. Frustrated over the delay, Lambodar complained to a group of brokers involved in meditations between Pathak and himself. Lambodar also demanded that Pathak return the money he was given.
But Pathak was reluctant to return the money and the disgruntled side recorded in audio and video conversations between Pathak and Neupane to substantiate the commissioner's involvement in bribery. The audio and video tapes were provided to the CIAA and to journalists.
Shortly, after the exposure, Pathak confessed the allegation and resigned from the post and was interrogated by the CIAA.