Sajha chief Sharma submits 100-page clarificationSajha Prakashan chief Dolindra Sharma, who has been charged with corruption at the state-owned publishing house, furnished a written clarification to the Education Ministry on Friday defending his activities.
Sajha Prakashan chief Dolindra Sharma, who has been charged with corruption at the state-owned publishing house, furnished a written clarification to the Education Ministry on Friday defending his activities.
In a 100-page reply, Sharma has tried to defend his controversial acts as legal. The ministry had directed him on Monday to furnish a clarification within three days on the charges levelled against him.
Sharma has been charged with misusing Rs300 million granted by the government to the cash-strapped organisation for its “revival”, recruiting his favourites and approving unnecessary foreign junkets.
After media reports of the alleged irregularities, the ministry on July 27 formed a three-member team comprising Ganesh Dhakal, under-secretary at its Monitoring and Evaluation Section; Resham Sigdel, under-secretary at the Law Section; and Sunita Khanal, an accounts officer at the ministry, to probe the charges.
The committee submitted its report in 15 days recommending Sharma’s termination. The report was subsequently forwarded to Commission for Investigation of Abuse of the Authority.
However, without implementing the report, the ministry gave Sharma yet another chance to clarify. “I have explained every decision of mine in the 100-page clarification,” he said. However, officials at the ministry wonder why Sharma was asked to defend himself even after the probe committee submitted its report.
Without the authority to conduct raids, the panel depended solely on the documents furnished by the publishing house to prepare its report.
Sharma has been charged with transferring Sajha’s money to his personal accounts. He is also accused of using his own publication house to print three textbooks—Sabaiko Nepali, Link English and Ek Chihan—that are part of a compulsory course at the higher secondary level, causing losses to the state-owned firm.
Sharma was appointed Sajha Prakashan general manager in 2014 by then minister for education Chitra Lekha Yadav. His term was renewed for four years by erstwhile education minister Dhani Ram Poudel last year.
Sharma owns the Oxford Publication House. In March 2015, he was found to be publishing books for grades six and seven for students of public schools from his company without authority. His links with political leaders are said to have spared him action.