Court issues show cause for not prosecuting ex-PMs in land scamSupreme Court Justice Binod Sharma issued the notice to the government on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a show cause notice to the government for not prosecuting former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai and former Chief Secretary Leelamani Paudyal in a case filed at the Kathmandu District Court in connection with the Lalita Niwas land scam.
A single bench of Justice Binod Sharma issued a show cause notice hearing on the writ petition filed by senior advocate Bal Krishna Neupane and Advocate Rabin Sharma.
The writ was filed on September 18 naming the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Attorney General’s Office, Kathmandu District Court, Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office, former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai, former Chief Secretary Leelamani Paudyal and Central Investigation Bureau of the Nepal Police as the defendants.
On August 27, the District Attorney Office, Kathmandu filed cases against 310 individuals, including the arrested 18 people, on the charge of forging government documents to transfer the government-owned land of Lalita Niwas, Baluwatar, in the names of many individuals. The 18 arrested individuals have since been released following an order issued by a single bench of District Court Judge Bhola Nath Dhakal on September 10.
However, Nepal and Bhattarai avoided prosecution as the police didn’t take their deposition (statement of the potential offender) although the two were interrogated as the government’s witnesses.
The government was forced to record the statements of former prime ministers after the Supreme Court on August 6 ordered that they too be investigated.
In early August, the court had ordered a probe against all those directly involved in the Cabinet decisions of April 11, 2010, May 14, 2010, August 13, 2010, and October 4, 2013, as well as those involved in implementing the decisions—this is in addition to those making and executing minister-level decisions.
The Nepal-led Cabinet had allowed the transfer of government land to individuals. Similarly, the Bhattarai-led Cabinet had permitted the land’s registration in the name of an allegedly fake trust by the name of Pashupati Tikinchha Guthi.
Former CPN-UML leader Nepal currently leads the CPN (Unified Socialist) while former Maoist leader Bhattarai leads the Nepal Samajwadi Party, both of which are in the ruling coalition.