KATHMANDU, Aug 8: It has emerged that two different authorities appointed two different persons to the single post of chief of Sajha Prakashan. However, it is Dolindra Prasad Sharma who is working as chairman and general manager of the state-owned publishing house.
There is room to question the legitimacy of his position as he was appointed as per the Nepal Government (Work Division) Regulations 2012, which brought Sajha Prakashan under the Ministry of Education (MoE). Sajha Prakashan still operates as per the Sajha Prakashan Sahakari Sanstha bylaw of 1964.
Tej Kumar Sharma was also appointed as chairman of Sajha Prakashan on October 11, 2015, for three years. When Tej Kumar approached Sajha Prakashan to assume his post after his appointment by the Rashtriya Sahari Bikas Board during the time of then prime minister and minister for agriculture and cooperatives Sushil Koirala, Dolindra asked him not to join Sajha.
“Dolindra told me not to join Sajha because he had paid Rs 3 million to get appointed there,” he quoted Dolindra as saying.
Tej Kumar then moved the appellate court Patan and the bench of judges Til Prasad Shrestha and Narayan Prasad Shrestha decided in his favor.
However, the Sajha board then went to the Supreme Court. The case is still pending at the Supreme Court but Tej Kumar, who is a lawyer and journalist by calling, claims to be the legitimate chair of Sajha Prakashan.
MoE had appointed Ramesh Lekhak as chairperson of Sajha on July 8, 2015 with Paradip Nepal, Dina Nath Sharma and Dolindra Prasad Sharma as board members. Lekhak resigned soon after.
Then education minister Chitra Lekha Yadav appointed Dolindra as GM of Sajha on January 19, 2015. He was also given the post of chairperson on July 26, 2015. His term ended in January 2017 but he was reappointed as chairman and GM for four years when Dhani Ram Paudel was education minister.
Dolindra has been accused of various misdeeds as head of Sajha.
Though MoE has appointed Dolindra two times, it has not formulated the necessary rules and regulations to bring Sajha under the ministry.
Lawyer Tej Kumar Sharma for his part argued that the Nepal Government (Work Division) Regulations 2012 is not sufficient for appointing officials at Sajha. “It should first scrap the bylaw of the Sajha Prakashan Sahakari Sanstha 1964. It should then be approved by the cabinet and a new act formulated to operate Sajha Prakashan under MoE,” he added.
Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal, spokesman at MoE, admitted that the regulations for operating Sajha under the ministry are not yet in place. “We have been facing legal tangles and confusion,” he added. “We need a new law for Sajha.”