KATHMANDU, Oct 3: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has decided not to proceed with the case against nine individuals involved in irregularities related to the National Payment Gateway.
The CIAA has decided not to proceed with the case against them because it has been found from an ongoing investigation that statements have been taken but insufficient evidence has been found to proceed with legal action. The CIAA has already decided not to proceed with the case against two more individuals at the Special Court as they have cooperated to become government witnesses.
According to the charge sheet submitted to the Special Court, it has been decided not to prosecute Shishir Kumar Dhungana, the then Secretary of Revenue Department of the Ministry of Finance, who gave a statement during the investigation.
At that time, Dhungana was the coordinator of the central coordination committee formed for the implementation of the electronic payment system.
The CIAA has decided not to prosecute the then Deputy Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Shiva Raj Shrestha, Executive Director Dev Kumar Dhakal, Deputy Director Krishna Prasad Sharma, Director Shubash Chandra Ghimire and Assistant Director Shiva Regmi.
Similarly, it has been decided not to prosecute Damaru Prasad Parajuli, the Under Secretary of the Budget and Program Division of the Ministry of Finance, Sumit Gupta, the section officer, and Krishna Sharma, the computer engineer of the Financial Comptroller General Office.
In the decision made by the CIAA, it is said, "Since there is a lack of evidence to prosecute the crime of corruption, there is no need to do anything at this time, and potential actions will be taken in accordance with the Prevention of Corruption Act when additional evidence is obtained."
At that time, Shishir Kumar Dhungana took various decisions while in the coordination committee. Stating that a national payment system is necessary, he said that the said committee had no role in the procurement made by the National Information Technology Center (NITC). Based on that, the CIAA decided not to prosecute him.
The Deputy Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) decided to advance the file to allow NITC to operate the payment gateway. He also said during his statement to the CIAA that he was not involved in the procurement process, but the decision to approve the operation was made because a payment gateway was necessary for the country.
The CIAA did not prosecute any employee of NRB including Shrestha. Similarly, under secretary of the Budget and Program Division of the Ministry of Finance Damaru Prasad Parajuli and Section Officer Sumit Gupta have also been spared as they were not involved in the budget disbursement and procurement process.