CIAA to question industrialist Chaudhary in Bansbari land case

Published On: April 14, 2024 02:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 14: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has summoned Nepali Congress lawmaker and industrialist Binod Chaudhary for questioning regarding the illegal registration of land previously owned by Bansbari Leather and Shoe Factory. The land was transferred to the name of a private entity, the Chaudhary Group, highlighting a legal investigation.

Initially established in 2022 BS, the Bansbari Leather and Shoe Factor saw its land transferred to Champion Footwear, a subsidiary of the Chaudhary Group, in 2042 BS. This transaction has now come under scrutiny for potential irregularities. The land in question is currently registered under the name of CG Chandbag Residence, another arm of the Chaudhary Group.

After the land irregularity case came to the surface, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police as well as the CIAA started an investigation.

Police have released three individuals including Arun Kumar Chaudhary who were arrested on the charge of embezzlement of 10 ropanis of government land belonging to Bansbari Leather and Shoe Factory Limited.

A few months ago, CIB had arrested businessman Arun Chaudhary, brother of Binod Chaudhary, but released him shortly following a court order.

Kathmandu District Court Judge Yagya Prasad Acharya had earlier ordered the release of the three individuals, stating that there is no need to detain them for 25 days for further investigation. Instead, the court directed the police to conclude the remaining investigation works, releasing them from judicial custody.

Following the court order, Ajit Narayan Singh Thapa, the executive chairman of Bansbari Shoe Factory Limited, and Sanjay Thakur, the managing director of CG Chandbag Residence, are among those released in connection with the land-grab case.

Section 15 of the National Criminal Procedure (Code) Act has a provision that investigating officers can release individuals on bail or on remand with the consent of the Attorney General if it is deemed unnecessary to detain them.

A senior official of CIB of Nepal Police stated that they are conducting further investigations into the Bansbari land embezzlement case even as the arrested persons were released.

During the investigation, the CIB took the statement of businessman and NC lawmaker Binod Chaudhary at the office of the public prosecutor on March 21.

The CIB and the CIAA are still investigating the embezzlement of the land belonging to the Bansbari Leather and Shoe Factory. The CIAA, which should be active in complaints of government land irregularities, was criticized for being passive in this matter.

When the land was registered in Champion's name, Lunkaran Das Chaudhary established the company in the name of his wife Gangadevi, sons Binod Kumar Chaudhary, Basanta Kumar Chaudhary, Arun Kumar Chaudhary and son-in-law Mahesh Kumar Agrawal. 


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