KATHMANDU, Nov 22: The CIAA on Tuesday filed a corruption case against Rishav Dev Bhattarai, former Assistant Inspector General of the Armed Police Force (APF), on charge of accumulating properties through illegal means during his stay in office.
The charge sheet filed by the anti-graft body states that the accused was found involved in amassing Rs 19.13 million during his stay in the paramilitary force. Former AIG, who after his retirement has joined former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Nepal party as its central council member, was taken into custody on Monday, a day before filing the corruption case.
"We have filed a corruption case against him at the court after our investigation concluded that he accumulated property through illegal means," said CIAA spokesman Ganesh Raj Karki.
CIAA investigators said that the cash amassed through illegal means are deposited in various banks in the name of his wife Bhawana Gautam Bhattarai. The anti-graft body has also sought confiscation of the property worth Rs 254,889 deposited in his wife's bank account.
Bhattarai was sent back to CIAA custody after the court failed to conduct preliminary hearings on the case, according to Special Court spokesman Jagannath Poudel.
This is the first high-profile corruption case brought by the CIAA after the suspension last month of its head Lokman Singh Karki from the position. Before this, former APF chiefs Basu Dev Oli and Sanat Kumar Basnet and the then sitting head Kosh Raj Onta were dragged to the court on charge of misusing millions in state funds by producing fake documents.
Karki has been suspended from the position following registration of impeachment motion in parliament last month on the charge of abusing his authority to silence his opponents. Spokesman Karki informed that the investigation into corruption cases registered at the anti-graft body would be expedited regardless of change of guard at the CIAA.
Asked about the status of high-profile corruption cases involving influential leaders, Karki said that 'investigation into their involvement was underway'. "We are investigating into all corruption cases," he said.
The suspended CIAA chief Karki had begun investigation into dozens of senior politicians, top-level bureaucrats and security officials on the charge of amassing property through illegal means. Speculations are rife among the public whether the corruption cases involving senior politicians would be sidelined with the change of leadership in the anti-graft body.