Sacked Karnali province minister, who faces banking offence charge, fails to appear before courtKhadka Bahadur Khatri’s whereabouts are unclear and police say there are no orders to arrest him.
Khadka Bahadur Katri, sacked minister of physical infrastructure development of Karnali Province, failed to appear before the Patan High Court on Sunday, the deadline set by the court. Khatri faces banking offence charges.
On Tuesday, a joint bench of Judges Srikanta Poudel and Tek Prasad Dhungana had issued an order in the name of police through Special Government Attorney’s Office to present Khatri before the court within three days.
Due to public holidays, Khatri was supposed to be presented before the court on Sunday, according to Mohan Subedi, spokesperson for the Patan High Court.
Police are yet to arrest Khatri.
“As the high court has not issued an order for his arrest, we didn’t arrest him. We have sent the court’s order to Khatri and notified the [Karnali] provincial government,” said Superintendent of Police Deepak Regmi, at Central Investigation Bureau of Police (CIB).
When the Post tried to call Khatri on his mobile phone, it was found switched off.
Khatri, who is a contractor by profession, is among the five individuals who have been accused of providing fake bank guarantee of Rs10.1 million to District Technical Office Bhojpur to get advance mobilisation, a payment given to the contractor to start work.
As per the charge sheet, they were involved in creating two separate advance payment guarantees of the Agriculture Development Bank worth Rs5.55 million and Rs5.53 million and presenting them to the District Technical Office Bhojpur on June 10 and November 4, 2016, respectively.
The government had recently filed a banking offence case against Khatri, Raju Prasad Shrestha, Chhabi Lal Dhakal, Randhir Tumba and Dev Jung Shahi in connection with the case.
Dhakal was an officer at the Agriculture Development Bank, Bhojpur, and is accused of helping to produce fake bank guarantees of the bank. While registering the charge sheet, the government had not produced Khatri before the court. It had mentioned him as one of the defendants.
But the Patan High Court said in its order that it was inappropriate not to present him before the court when the charge sheet was filed.
After the latest court order, Karnali Province Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi had sacked Khatri, a leader of the Nepal Communist Party who comes from the former CPN-UML, from the minister’s post on August 15.
Khatri is the proprietor of KSK Construction, a ‘B’ class construction company, in Surkhet. His company was also found to have been involved in a number of projects whose contracts were awarded by his own ministry in a clear case of conflict of interest.
His company is reportedly working on 11 contracts under Water Resources and Irrigation Development Division under his ministry worth Rs345 million.
Of them, seven contracts were awarded to his company before the division came under the provincial government. After he assumed office, the ministry awarded his company four contracts—Chingadkhola Control Project, Itramkhola Control Project , Sotkhola Control Project and Bheri River Control Project.