Years on, CIAA still struggles to collect Joshi case documents

Published On: June 25, 2019 06:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 25: In what appears to be maintaining poor records of important documents, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is struggling to get the documents related to a charge-sheet filed against a high-profile corruption case involving former minister Gobinda Raj Joshi.

After the Supreme Court warned of action against CIAA officials for not submitting the documents related to the charges filed against former minister Joshi for years, the anti-corruption agency is now struggling to get those documents.

In the first week of this month, a division bench of justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Sapana Pradhan Malla issued a strong warning against CIAA officials to face the consequences as they had been dilly-dallying over an apex court order to submit the original files and various other documents concerning the Joshi case.

The top court sought all documents related to its 2003 decision to file a corruption case against Joshi.

Since then, CIAA officials have been relentlessly searching for documents related to the charge-sheet lodged against former minister Joshi. Their efforts, however, have ended without a complete success.

“We got some documents. It seems some documents are still misplaced,” said CIAA Spokesperson Pradeep Kumar Koirala.

Koirala said they have already submitted some 'documents' to the court and will send the remaining documents whenever they find them or the court seeks additional document again.

Earlier this month, the division bench ordered CIAA officials to submit an explanation within 15 days as to why the anti-graft body had failed to submit the original documents. The order to submit the documents was issued some five years ago. But the anti-graft body never submitted the documents claiming that the documents were misplaced.

It may be noted that other corruption cases from around the same time, including those involving former ministers JP Gupta, Chiranjibi Wagle and Khum Bahadur Khadka, have already been resolved. They have even completed their jail terms as per the court verdicts.

Joshi, a former home minister, has been facing the graft case for the last 16 years.

Noting that disobeying its order was a serious matter as it constituted an obstruction to the judicial process, the apex court has sought an explanation from CIAA officials why action should not be taken against them.

The order to submit the original decision of the CIAA and other details was issued on November 15, 2014 and there have been five follow-ups since that order.

The anti-graft body had filed its corruption case against Joshi, his son Dinesh Joshi and brother-in-law Tararaj Pandey on the charge of accumulating unexplained wealth and misusing the powers of the Special Court.

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