Commissioners ‘kept in dark’ about CIAA decisionsSome critical decisions that suspended chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority Lokman Singh Karki took without consulting the other commissioners not only smeared the image of the anti-graft body but were also the cause of his downfall, sources at the CIAA said.
Some critical decisions that suspended chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority Lokman Singh Karki took without consulting the other commissioners not only smeared the image of the anti-graft body but were also the cause of his downfall, sources at the CIAA said.
On September 16, the CIAA organised a press meet hastily to say that it was accelerating a probe into the alleged corruption in distribution of perks for ex-Maoist combatants when they were housed at the cantonments. The Supreme Court also decided to review its earlier decision on whether Karki was qualified to head the anti-graft body. Earlier, the court had quashed the writ challenging his appointment.
“I didn’t know that a press conference was being organised about investigation into the alleged corruption in the cantonments,” said a CIAA commissioner. “I came to know about it only after journalists arrived here.”
However, CIAA Spokesperson Ganesh Raj Karki, who organised the press meet, told the Post that only the chief commissioner and the commissioner handling the affairs know about the matter. “A collective decision is taken only when the investigation concludes and a case should be filed at the court,” he said.
CPN (Maoist Centre) leaders had termed the CIAA’s announcement unusual, calling it an attempt to smear their chairman and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal who was then on a visit to India. Riled, the Maoist lawmakers, in collaboration with the CPN-UML, registered an impeachment motion against Karki in Parliament on October 19.
This was not the only time when Karki did not consult with other commissioners, according to CIAA officials. A commissioner said the anti-graft body’s statement calling Dr Govinda KC a “lunatic” was also issued without consulting with them.
Dr KC had demanded Karki’s impeachment for the anti-graft body’s interference in the Kathmandu University medical entrance test in June and other interventions going beyond the CIAA’s jurisdiction. “Even when the probe began on 29 political leaders, administrators and security personnel on the charge of amassing property illegally, a collective decision was not taken,” he told the Post.
The anti-graft body had then said it would investigate Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara and former ministers Bidyadhar Mallik, Ram Kumar Shrestha, Chhabi Raj Pant, Shankar Koirala, Umakanta Jha, Tek Bahadur Thapa and Lharkyal Lama and former chief secretary Bhoj Raj Ghimire.
On December 4, 2015, the CIAA instructed the central bank and commercials banks to freeze their lockers. The anti-graft body has now freed the lockers of many of them.