Major general who moved court over retirement detainedThere is a difference of one year in Prem Shahi’s date of birth in different documents submitted to the Army.
Nepal Army on Tuesday arrested Major General Prem Shahi on the charge of financial irregularities. He will remain in the custody of military police until the investigation completes.
There was a mismatch in the date of birth between the citizenship certificate and academic credentials submitted by Shahi while joining the army service. Some documents said he was born on January 4, 1966 while others showed his date of birth was January 4, 1967. As the date of birth in the army record is January 4, 1966, he was due to retire Wednesday on the grounds of age.
The retirement age for a major general is 58 years. However, Shahi moved the Supreme Court saying he still has one more year left to retire as he was born on January 4, 1967.
Responding to his petition, the Supreme Court on December 28 asked the army headquarters to allow him to work until the final verdict. The court also directed the army headquarters to respond in writing within 15 days explaining the reasons for sending him into retirement from Wednesday (January 4, 2023). “Don’t implement the decision to send Shahi on retirement until the final verdict,” reads the interim order of the single bench of Justice Hari Phuyal.
Shahi on Tuesday went to the army headquarters with the court order demanding he be allowed to continue in the service. The army, however, detained him instead. Nepal Army spokesman Brigadier General Krishna Bhandari said Shahi was detained on the charge of committing irregularities. “Major General Shahi had charges of financial irregularities while in service. He has been held in detention for investigation,” Bhandari told the Post. “A court of inquiry will be set up. He will not be allowed to go home until the investigation is completed.”
He claimed that Shahi had already received the letter of retirement and was on a 15-day leave, as is customary, before retirement. Asked why he was arrested after the court order, Bhandari said it was just a coincidence. “His detention has nothing to do with the court order. It is nothing but a coincidence,” he said. “The investigation was ongoing. He was taken in control for his statements.”
The army has a legal department which takes final decisions on any charges against its servicemen. The national defence force has often shown reluctance in abiding by the decisions of civilian courts.