KATHMANDU, Jan 6: Shambhu Bharati, who was serving a jail term at Dilli Bazaar Jail for embezzling millions of rupees while procuring logistics for Nepali peacekeepers in Sudan, has been released from the jail on Sunday before completing his term. Although he had been given a yearlong prison term, he remained in prison for just four months.
Based on an order issued by a bench of Supreme Court justices Tej Bahadur Karki, Purushottam Bhandari and Manoj Sharma, Bharati was released on Sunday, jail administrator Sita Adhikari confirmed.
In response to an appeal filed by Bharati, the justices had ordered the jail administration in December to release him on bail. “As per the order issued by the court, he was produced before the court today and subsequently released,” said Adhikari.
Bharati, one of the masterminds of the infamous Sudan scam, was absconding since the court convicted him in the scam and police had arrested him in August last year.
As the local supplier of the London-based Assured Risks Pvt Ltd, which supplied obsolete armored personnel carriers and other logistical equipment to Nepali peacekeepers in the war-torn African country, Bharati was convicted by the Special Court in February 2012 and later by the Supreme Court in 2017.
In its verdict on February 13, 2012, the Special Court had concluded that three Nepal Police ex-inspectors general Om Bikram Rana, Ramesh Chanda Thakuri and Hem Bahadur Gurung and other police officers worked in collusion with contractor Bharati and caused a loss of more than Rs 280 million to the Nepal Police Welfare Fund.
Later, the Supreme Court had upheld the lower court’s verdict. The court had sought to recover a fine of Rs 142 million and impose one year jail term on Bharati.
Rana, Gurung, and Thakuri were found guilty in the scam and jailed.
Later, Rana, Gurung, and Thakuri were released. Similarly, former DIGs Dipak Shrestha and Rabi Rana were also jailed and released after serving their terms.