CIAA drafting prosecution policyThe Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is preparing a prosecution policy in order to bring uniformity in its decision, end contradiction and ensure penalty reflects the severity of offence.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is preparing a prosecution policy in order to bring uniformity in its decision, end contradiction and ensure penalty reflects the severity of offence.
The anti-graft body has faced widespread condemnation over different decisions on similar offence or similar decisions on different degree of offence in recent times.
For example, the commission’s decision to put the investigation into corruption allegation against former All Nepal Football Association (Anfa) President Ganesh Thapa on hold in February 2015 had raised many an eyebrow.
The Public Accounts Committee under the erstwhile Parliament had concluded that Thapa, along with then Anfa general secretary Dhirendra Pradhan and treasurer Birat Jung Shahi, had been involved in misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs580 million.
In November 2015, the Ethics Committee of the football’s world governing body banned Thapa for 10 years from all football-related activities on charge of irregularities. On the other hand, the anti-graft body is facing charge of taking harsh action on minor offence in some cases, for example, taking bribe of a few thousand rupees.
“The prosecution policy is currently being drafted. It will guide the CIAA to take specific decisions on specific situation to ensure uniformity in its decisions irrespective of who is involved in investigation and who is leading the organisation,” said CIAA Spokesperson Padam Prasad Pandey. He said they also sought to lower to penalty for minor offences while drafting the policy.
There is a provision in the Corruption Prevention Act that once the anti-graft body takes any public official under its control and leaves him or her on bail or files a case at the court, such person is automatically suspended.
“We are exploring the possibility where a public official committing a minor offence could face just departmental action instead of suspension,” said Pandey.
The anti-graft agency had first mentioned about such a prosecution policy in its annual report for the fiscal year 2014-15. But the CIAA failed to make any headway on that front under its chief at the time Lokman Singh Karki because of his controversial working style, according to CIAA officials.
However, they are hopeful the policy is expected to see the light of the day in the changed context.