Special Court summons TSC men in graft caseThe Special Court has issued summons to three members of the Tax Settlement Commission (TSC) to appear at the court for trial on a corruption case filed by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority.
The Special Court has issued summons to three members of the Tax Settlement Commission (TSC) to appear at the court for trial on a corruption case filed by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).
The CIAA filed the case on July 16 against TSC chairman Lumba Dhwoj Mahat and members Sharma and Umesh Dhakal, charging them with embezzling Rs10.02 billion while settling tax dues with enterprises in “dubious” ways.
After the Supreme Court on August 11 ruled that the Special Court would decide on the corruption charge levelled against Sharma, the door was opened for the lower court to take ahead the trial proceedings against Sharma and his TSC members.
Earlier, the Special Court trial was put on hold due to hearing on a habeas corpus petition filed by Sharma’s wife Kalpana Upreti demanding his release, who was in the CIAA custody for interrogation.
The apex court later ordered his transfer to police custody. The SC released Sharma next in a verdict that said the Special Court has prior jurisdiction of looking into the corruption charge and whether the CIAA has the mandate to probe TSC members.
“After we received the SC’s verdict, we issued the summons last week in the name of the three TSC members to appear at the court within 15 days of receiving the letter,” said Bhim Kumar Shrestha, registrar at the Special Court.
“Staffers of the Kathmandu District Court have been assigned for the job. They will have maximum 15 days to deliver the notice and those summoned should be present at the court within another 15 days.”
Although the apex court released Sharma from police custody, the Special Court retains the authority to send Sharma and other TSC members into judicial custody or release them on bail once the trial begins anew, according to Special Court officials. Shrestha said the Special Court usually releases those charged with corruption on bail.
After a report of the Office of the Auditor General called into question the Rs21 billion worth of tax exemptions granted by the TSC to various enterprises, the CIAA had launched its probe into the matter.