KATHMANDU, August 6: Two Chartered Accountants (CAs), Lumba Dhwoj Mahat and Umesh Prasad Dhakal, are on the run after the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) filed case against them at the Special Court for their role in inflicting huge loss on the government while settling pending tax disputes.
Mahat was the chairperson of Tax Settlement Commission (TSC), while Dhakal was the member.
Surprisingly, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) has not taken any disciplinary action against the duo.
ICAN is a regulating body of chartered accountants.
ICAN Vice Chairperson Jagannath Upadhyaya told Republica that no disciplinary action has been taken against Mahat and Dhakal“ "As per the Nepal Chartered Accounts Act, 1997, our disciplinary committee can take action only after receiving information or the complaint is lodged against any CA. We have not received any complaint against the duo," he added.
ICAN officials say that the law lacks clarity. “
"The duo has applied for suspension of 'certificate of practice (CoP)'. This means they cannot practice chartered accountancy. Other than this, we have no information about them," Upadhayaya said.
But ICAN officials have not officially spoken about the matter even though both have submitted applications for suspension of CoP before cases were filed against them at the Special Court.
Mahat and Dhakal had filed an application for suspension of their CoP while investigation against them was underway by the CIAA. The constitutional anti-graft body had filed cases against three members of the commission, including the duo, on July 16.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that both of them resigned from their respective chartered accountancy firms while investigation against them was underway, possibly to avoid arrest and go out of contact.
Partners of both Mahat and Dhakal in their firms told Republica that they are no more involved in the firms. Promoters of CA firms, LDSA Associates and ESC Private Limited, said that Mahat have already resigned from both firms. An official of LDSA Associates, preferring anonymity, said that CA Ramesh Dhital has joined both the firms as partner.
Likewise, Dhakal is no more a partner of Dev Associate“. "Dhakal tendered his resignation before a case was filed against him at the court. He is no more with ”s," Umesh Raj Pandeya, one of the partners at Dev Associates, told Republica.
The CIAA has filed a graft case against Dhakal, Mahat and Director General of Inland Revenue Department Chudamani Sharma to recover Rs 10.02 billion each from them. They have been charged with settling pending tax cases by waiving off principal tax amounts as well as providing discounts on even VAT collected from customers.
Sharma is in the custody of CIAA.