Congress sees political motive in graft case against Gachchhadar

Published On: February 7, 2020 08:28 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 7: The main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has said that the corruption case against its Vice President Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar in connection with Lalita Niwas land scam was filed with political bias. 

Organizing a press conference at the party’s headquarter in Sanepa on Thursday, NC spokesman Bishwa Prakash Sharma alleged that the government had unduly influenced the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to implicate Gachchhadar. Gachchhadar is among 175 individuals indicted over the Lalita Niwas land scam. 

Sharma took strong exception to the decision of the anti-graft body to give amnesty to then prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai, while filing case against Gachchhadar, who acted in his capacity as a minister. “The decision to file case against a minister over the same case, while giving amnesty to the prime ministers in itself makes it clear that there is some ill-intention,” he said.

Sharma argued that prime minister is equally liable in any decisions taken by cabinet.  “In a prime ministerial system, the prime minister is fully responsibility for all the decisions taken by his cabinet. It is an undisputed fact that no proposal can be introduced or passed in the cabinet without the consent of the prime minister,” he said.

Sharma also argued that the decision of the anti-graft body not to file case against the son of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) General Secretary Bishnu Paudel, while filing case against others showed that it had acted under the influence of those in power.

Sharma said that NC and the entire nation had long been demanding a thorough investigation into the Lalita Niwas land scam for a long time. “But right from the start, the intention of the government has been to protect its own and harass others. It is unfortunate that the CIAA has acted under pressure of the government,” he further said.

NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba had separately called a meeting of lawyers close to the party at his residence in Budhanilakantha to discuss future course of action in view of a corruption case filed against Gachchhadar. Nearly three dozen advocates had argued that the case against Gachchhadar was politically motivated as it has exonerated to the leaders close to the ruling party.

The lawyers had briefed NC’s office bearers that the CIAA had protected the one who took the decision, but those instructed to make the decision were exonerated. They argued that Gachchhadar had taken the proposal to the cabinet as per the directive of the then prime minister Madhav Nepal.

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