KATHMANDU, Sept 25: At a time when retired staffers of Sajha Prakashan have barred Dolindra Prasad Sharma, the erstwhile general manager and chairperson of the publishing house, from entering the premises, the Supreme Court (SC)has upheld the decision of a then Appellate Court finding his appointment illegal. The Appellate Court had ruled that the appointment of Sharma and the board members of the 105-year-old publishing house by the Ministry of Education was illegal. A joint bench of Justices Tej Bahadur KC and Dambar Bahadur Shahi on September 23 upheld the Appellate Court ruling, which also reinstated Tej Kumar Sharma as chairman of Sajha. As per the ruling, Sajha Prakashan belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation.
The tenure of Dolindra Sharma as chairman expired on July 27 while his tenure as general manager has three years remaining. However, Tej Kumar Sharma, who was reinstated as chairman by the court ruling, said, "I will not hold this position now as my tenure of four years expires on October 10." He had been appointed during the time of then prime minister Sushil Koirala.
Dolindra Sharma was appointed GM of Sajha on January 19, 2015 during the time of then education minister Chitra Lekha Yadav. Yadav also appointed Pradip Nepal, Dinanath Sharma and Dr Krishna Hari Baral as board members .
Sharma was given the post of chairperson also on July 26, 2015, and his term ended in January 2017. But he was reappointed that month as chairman and GM for four years. Dhani Ram Paudel was education minister at the time.
Sharma showed up at office on August 30, September 6 and 13, according to officials at Sajha . He has not come again since, they claimed.
When contacted on his cell phone for his comments, Dolindra Sharma did not take the call.
Sajha Prakashan is operating under the cooperatives manual (2021BS) and the Sajha/Cooperatives law, while the work division regulations approved by the cabinet some six years back has placed the publishing house under the Ministry of Education.