Notice to CIAA chief: Court attempt to serve summons fails againA new drama unfolded on Thursday after a court official tasked with delivering a summons to Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) chief Lokman Singh Karki “went out of contact”. Hence, the Supreme Court (SC)’s Thursday’s attempt, second in as many days, to serve the notice to Karki went in vain.
A new drama unfolded on Thursday after a court official tasked with delivering a summons to Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) chief Lokman Singh Karki “went out of contact”. Hence, the Supreme Court (SC)’s Thursday’s attempt, second in as many days, to serve the notice to Karki went in vain.
Thursday’s unsuccessful attempt to serve summons to Karki comes in a series of incidents that many have described as “bizarre and uncanny”.
On Wednesday, SC officials had returned from Karki’s house at ward no. 10 of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City without pasting the summons on his house after local ward officials, whose presence is necessary for the deed, failed to show up.
Court officials were also told that the house was rented out.
Advocate Om Prakash Aryal, who has challenged Karki’s appointment as the CIAA chief in the SC, said, “Karki is trying to buy time.”
“It may delay the date, but a court hearing is unavoidable,” he said.
Earlier in July, when the Supreme Court had sought documents related to Karki’s appointment as the CIAA chief, the government, in response, had said “the files were lost in the earthquake”.
Earlier in July, Karki had skipped a meeting of the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of Parliament, saying he was not keeping well and that his “doctor had advised not to speak”.
Two days have passed since a full bench of Justices Dipak Kumar Karki, Biswambhar Shrestha and Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada asked Aryal, the plaintiff, and Karki, the defendant, to appear before the court. The court has given Karki to appear before court in person within 15 days from the date of receiving the notice.
Now the “disappearance” of the court official tasked with delivering summons has added a new twist to Karki case, one of the high-profile cases in recent times.
As per the rule, the court summons should be handed over to the person concerned. In case the concerned person is not available to receive the notice, it should be handed over to individuals living in the house. In the absence of individuals whom the notice can be delivered, the court notice has to be pasted on the house in the presence of the representative(s) of the local body. According to the CIAA, Karki has not returned from his foreign trip.
According to the court rule, after receiving the notice, Karki will get 15 days before appearing in the court. But he can seek additional one month.
Karki was appointed as the CIAA chief in May 2013 by Khil Raj Regmi-led government following a political agreement among the major parties.
Advocate Aryal in his petition has claimed that Karki’s appointment was unlawful as his tenure in government service “falls short of what has been provisioned in the constitution and he does not hold high moral character to lead the anti-graft body”.
After getting rapped by the apex court for not producing documents related to Karki’s appointment “because they were lost in earthquake”, the Prime Minister’s Office had sent all the relevant minutes to the SC on September 23.