Controversial persons also conferred medals by prez

Published On: September 5, 2018 06:52 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Sept 5: A sacked chief justice, a suspended police officer and other controversial individuals also received national medals from  President Bidya Bhandari on Tuesday, along with various other individuals making a contribution to the country.

President Bhandari conferred 10 various types of medals on 345 individuals, whose names were announced during  Republic Day last year. Recommendations for the medals had drawn controversy after bureaucrats and other office bearers recommended their own names or that of relatives. 

Many were surprised on Tuesday when former chief justice Gopal Parajuli, who was sacked from the post for falsifying his date of birth, received the Prasiddha Prabal Jana Sewa Shree from the head of state. Suspended superintendent of police Bidyananda Majhi received the Prabal Janasewa Shree from the president although he is under internal probe for releasing a rape-accused. 

Various other controversial individuals also received medals, including tainted businessman Rajendra Khetan, Vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University Tirtha Knaniya, who is facing a charge of plagiarism.

Asked about medals being conferred on controversial persons, spokesperson at the Home Ministry Ram Krishna Subedi claimed that they were clean at the time of the announcement of the medal awards. He mentioned technical difficulties and the time lag between the announcement of medal awards and their conferral as the reason why some controversial persons also got awarded. 

“The state believes that anyone eligible for such an award should be a person of integrity,” he told Republica. 

According to the Home Ministry, it takes more than a year to prepare the awards. The government has decided to announce the national medal awards on Constitution Day from this year onward.


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