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Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Stays On-Part XX

Issue 32, August 5, 2012

Siddhi B Ranjitkar

Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has inherited the worst possible economic condition thanks to the corrupt rulers. The Rana/Shah rulers directly stole from the state coffer, and then the Panchayat rulers headed by the Shah ruler took every possible national resource to enrich them. Then, the democratic rulers collected billions of rupees as commissions and over-the-table (not even under the table) payments for any decisions they made following the laws sometimes passing over laws. From among them, only a few unlucky corrupt politicians got entangled in the legal web and one had already served his jail term another had been serving, some others are to follow them. The abuse of authority by the Nepalese rulers has been the common practices.

The division bench comprising Justices of the Supreme Court of Nepal: Kalyan Shrestha and Baidyanath Upadhayay began to pursue on July 30, 2012 the hearing on the corruption case against NC Leader Khum Bahadur Khadka filed by the Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA), according to ‘THT ONLINE”. The Supreme Court bench has decided to give the final ruling on this case on August 14, 2012.

The division bench of Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nepal: Ram Prasad Shrestha and Justice Sushila Karki reopened the corruption case against Khadka and started off the hearing on the case on March 28, 2011, and issued a notice to him ordering him to be present in person; in case if he does not appear in person at the court, asked the government to present him at the court, according to

The Special Court had acquitted NC Leader Khadka closing the case four years ago. The Special Court had not only acquitted Khum Bahadur Khadka but also Govinda Raj Joshi and Rabindra Nath Sharma of Rastriya Prajatantra Party of Nepal on technical ground allegedly after these three guys had a long meeting with the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nepal in January 2007. The CIAA had filed corruption cases against these guys at the Special Court in January 2004.

Then, the CIAA appealed at the Supreme Court of Nepal to review the corruption cases against NC Leader Khadka and Govinda Raj Joshi. Rabindra Nath Sharma had died. Following the appeal of the CIAA, the Supreme Court of Nepal sent the corruption case against NC Leader Joshi back to the Special Court to review it while the Supreme Court held the hearings on the corruption case against NC Leader Khadka.

On June 11, 2012, the Special Court reopened the corruption case against NC Leader Govind Raj Joshi. A bench comprising Chief Judge of Special Court Gauri Bahadur Karki and members such as Om Prakash Mishra and Kedar Prasad Chalise started off hearing on the corruption case against NC Leader Govind Raj Joshi.

On July 25, 2012, the full bench comprising judges such as Gauri Bahadur Karki, Om Prakash Mishra and Kedar Prasad Chalise of the Special Court convicted NC leader Govinda Raj Joshi of amassing fortune not to the proportion of his regular earnings while in offices of several ministries, and awarded him the penalty of a one-and-half year jail term and of Rs 21.6 million. The full bench of the Special Court declared Joshi illegally amassing the fortune abusing his authority while serving as a minister at various ministries.

According to the Special Court official, NC Leader Joshi could appeal against the conviction at the Supreme Court of Nepal but he had to deposit the amount of money equal to the penalty the Special Court had imposed on him. NC Leader Joshi said that he would appeal against the conviction.

The irony was that some NC cadres held a protest rally in Damauli: the home area of NC Leader Joshi against the Special Court convicting NC Leader Govinda Raj Joshi of corruption and imposing the penalty of a one-and-a-half year jail term and of Rs 21.6 million on him, according to news ‘The Himalayan Times’ of July 30, 2012. The police arrested former lawmaker Urmila Thapa, general convention representative Krishna Gautam, regional representative Bishnu Shrestha, Bandipur VDC President Gyanendra Adhikary, district members Gopal Bhandari, and Uday Gauli, among others for blocking the highway at Damauli protesting against the ruling of the Special Court on convicting Govinda Raj Joshi of corruption.

It was not surprising to have such a protest rally of the party that had called the shutdown of the entire country demanding the government declare Chairman of Chitwan Tarundal Shiva Prasad Poudel allegedly a murderer as a martyr and pay Rs 1 million to his family as a compensation for his death when he died from the injury inflicted by his rival group. Chairman of Chitwan Tarundal Poudel was held in the Chitwan jail for the murder of Sanjay Lama of Bharatpur in a gang fight allegedly fought in the conflict of business interest. Then, another group affiliated to the CPN-UML also was in the same jail in another block gone to the block where Poudel was kept and assaulted him on December 7, 2011.

The worst case of political corruption in Nepal had been that the political cadres continued to demand the government declare any political cadre killed in any event a martyr. The latest case of this sort was “Nepali Congress (NC) cadres have started a relay sit-in at Kalyanpur, Bishanpur Chowk in Saptari district from Thursday, (August 2, 2012) demanding martyrdom declaration for NC cadre Indra Narayan Yadav, who was killed on July 12, allegedly by Tarakant Yadav and his son Dipendra,” according to The protesting NC cadres demanded the government pay the compensation to the family of the deceased for the loss of the loved one, and provide his children with employment and education. Speaking at the protest rally, Khagendra Prasad Yadav: president of NC Saptari Region No. 6, warned of more intense protests if the government failed to meet their demand, and further said they would gradually increase the duration of the transport shutdown along the highway.

On February 21, 2012, a division bench of Supreme Court Justices such as Sushila Karki and Tarka Raj Bhatta awarded incumbent Minister for Information and Communications Jayaprakash Prasad Gupta a one-and-a-half-year jail term and imposed the penalty of Rs 8.4 million on him convicting him of the wealth earned disproportionately to his visible remuneration abusing his authority while serving at the various capacities of minister when he was a NC leader. By the time the Supreme Court convicted him of corruption, Mr. Gupta had been the Chairman of the party called Madheshi People’s Rights Forum-Republican and serving as a minister in the coalition Government of the UCPN-Maoist and UDMF, headed by Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. This time, NC cadres did not protest against the ruling of the Supreme Court of Nepal on convicting Mr. Gupta as he had already left the NC and joined a new party. The CIAA had filed a corruption case against the then NC leader Gupta at the Special Court in 2003 charging him with the wealth amassed disproportionately to his earnings abusing his authority while serving as a minister, but the Special Court acquitted him in 2007.

Mr. Gupta quit the mother party NC and joined Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) just before the Constituent Assembly election in 2008. He was an active NC leader in the past but no less active in the MPRF, too. He became the party of the breakaway party MPRF-Democratic led by Bijaya Gacchedhar.  Later on, Mr. Gupta set up his own MPRF-Republican taking 13 lawmakers from Mr. Gacchedhar. Thus, Mr. Gupta was a Chairman of MPRF-Republican when he went to jail in February 2012.

Before going to the jail in Kathmandu, Mr. Gupta said to reporters, "The verdict has come as a punishment to the Madhes movement; I will not be able to appear before you [media] as a political leader for some time; but one-and-a-half year does not mean anything for a political movement," writes

The division bench of justices such as Sushila Karki and Tarkaraj Bhatta of the Supreme Court of Nepal issued instructions in its ruling on the corruption case against Gupta to take actions through the Judicial Commission against three judges such as Bhupadhoj Adhikari, Cholendra Shumsher Rana, and Komalnath Sharma of the Special Court, as they misjudged the corruption case ignoring the evidences, and acquitted Mr. Gupta, writes ‘gorkhapatra’ of February 22, 2012. The bench of Adhikari, Rana and Sharma had not only acquitted Mr. Gupta but also former minister and NC leader Govinda Raj Joshi, former minister and leader of RPP Rabindra Nath Sharma and former Secretary to Home Ministry Padam Prasad Pokharel, Secretary to Defense Ministry Chakra Bandhu Aryal and former Inspector Generals of Police Motilal Bohara and Achyut Krishna Kharel, writes ‘The Rising Nepal’ on February 22, 2012.

The Supreme Court of Nepal had convicted former minister Chiranjivi Wagle and sent him to jail. In February, 2011, a division bench of the Supreme Court Chief Justice Ram Prasad Shrestha and Justice Khil Raj Regmi upheld the verdict of the Special Court on the corruption case against NC Leader Chiranjivi Wagle in 2004, and sent him to jail for one-and-a-half years and imposed the penalty of Rs. 20.3 million on him. Serving 14 months in jail and paying a nominal amount of penalty in comparison to what he had accumulated the assets while serving as a minister, one of the highly talked about NC corrupt Leaders, Chiranjivi Wagle walked out of the Dilli-Bazaar jail in Kathmandu on April 29, 2012 to meet some NC cadres waving the NC four-star flags to welcome him back home.

Instead of leaving the corrupt leaders in disgrace, the NC cadres had raised the voices against the ruling of the court on the corruption case against the NC leader Govinda Raj Joshi and boosted his corrupt mind. This was a typical mind-set of the Panchayat people in the past. In fact, the Panchayat people had glorified the corruption, and corrupt politicians making their illegally accumulated wealth as the social prestige. So, the corruption had been endemic in the Panchayat regime, as currently the corruption had been endemic to the NC.

Some analysts say that the corruption cases carrying a maximum penalty of a one-and-a-half-year jail term and of the amount of the money the corrupt politicians had visibly amassed were too small in comparison to the damage they had done to the prosperity of the people and the injustice done to the people. Millions of the Nepalis lost the opportunity of coming out of the poverty, as millions if not billions of rupees poured in Nepal to alleviate the poverty but most of the resources going to the pockets of the corrupt political leaders. Hundreds of development projects remained unfinished and many projects did not see the light of day because the concerned ministers did not get the commissions as much as they wanted. Currently, the people in Kathmandu have the drinking water supply for two hours once a week. The highly hyped ‘Melamchi Drinking Water Project’ supposed to be initiated by the then-interim Prime Minister and NC Leader Krishna Prasad Bhattarai in 1990 to fetch water to the Kathmandu Valley has not been completed even after twenty years of the conception of the project and more than fifteen-year rule of the NC leaders. Similarly, the NC leaders did not bother to build any hydropower projects during the 15-year rule causing the almost a half day power outage every day today. We have many such examples of the development projects that had been stunted or cancelled for the NC leaders and ministers not getting sufficient commissions in the past. However, Chiranjivi Wagle had already atoned for stealing the huge taxpayers’ money completing the 14-month jail stay, and Mr. Gupta is serving for the same, and soon Mr. Joshi might join Mr. Gupta in jail and Khadka is also in the process of getting the punishment for his past sin of stealing the public money. All these guys belonged to the so-called Democratic Party: Nepali Congress (NC).

August 4, 2012.

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