No evidence found against him, says Minister Gokul Baskota
KATHMANDU, Jan 17: The government has backed off from its move to remove Nepal Rastra Bank’s Deputy Governor Shiba Raj Shrestha from his post.
Though the government instructed the NRB to form an inquiry committee to look into over a half dozen allegations, including his role in undermining the efforts to prevent money laundering, it has decided to not to take any action against him.
The government decided to acquit him stating that an inquiry committee did not find any evidence on the allegations leveled against him.
“There was an investigation on the issue of the central bank. We received the report of the inquiry committee. He received the clean chit as no evidence [of misconduct] was found in the inquiry,” said Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Gokul Prasad Baskota, speaking at the weekly press briefing on Thursday. “The inquiry was obvious when the questions were raised. But, when the inquiry does not find anything, nobody can be indicted.”
The government’s decision to acquit NRB Deputy Governor Shiba Raj Shrestha comes nearly after three months of the cabinet decision to instruct the central bank to form an inquiry committee to launch a probe against him and submit the report within a month. The government had told the central bank to investigate into allegations like he acted with mala fide intention in the regulation of bank and financial institutions, and pocketed money by preparing fake bills and documents during foreign visits, among others.
Following the instruction of the finance ministry, the NRB had formed a three-member inquiry committee headed by its board director Sri Ram Poudyal on November 4.
Shrestha was suspended from his post after the formation of the inquiry committee.
After the inquiry committee submitted its report, the government sought clarification from Shrestha two weeks ago.
Convinced with his clarification and lack of evidences substantiating the allegations in the report of the inquiry committee, the government decided to give Shrestha a ‘clean-chit’.