Basnyat disbands Karki’s coreActing chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority Deep Basnyat has started dismantling the structure set up by suspended chief commissioner Lokman Singh Karki to maintain his total sway over the CIAA by reclaiming key responsibilities from Karki loyalists.
Acting chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority Deep Basnyat has started dismantling the structure set up by suspended chief commissioner Lokman Singh Karki to maintain his total sway over the CIAA by reclaiming key responsibilities from Karki loyalists.
Karki was suspended last week after 157 lawmakers from the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre) and the main opposition CPN-UML registered an impeachment motion against him. Basnyat was appointed the acting CIAA chief on October 20.
Some of the charges Karki faces are misusing his authority to fulfil his personal and family ambitions, institutionalising corrupt activities, terrorising the state mechanism, and carrying out anarchic activities by taking the law into his own hands. Karki has been accused of bargaining with political leaders and making bureaucrats work as dictated by him to serve his personal interests under the garb of investigation into illegally earned property.
In the latest attempt, Basnyat has reshuffled the responsibilities of the commissioners. He has taken over all the responsibilities that Karki had assumed such as overseeing issues with the ministries including Finance, Home Affairs, Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Energy and Information and Communication besides leading investigations into cases of amassing property by those holding public offices.
Karki and Commissioner Raj Narayan Pathak, who is considered close to the suspended chief, had been overseeing probe into the property of political leaders and government officials. Pathak has been accused of supporting Karki in every move. This responsibility has been taken by Basnyat and Commissioner Ganesh Raj Joshi, according to sources at the anti-corruption agency.
In a recent conversation with the Post, Pathak had said it was his responsibility as a commissioner to support the chief commissioner. Along with the new responsibility, Basnyat will also oversee cases related to the ministries of health, youth and sports, commerce, supply and drinking water and sanitation.
Joshi will oversee special investigation and handle cases related to the ministries including land reforms, agriculture, and science and technology. CIAA Spokesperson Ganesh Raj Karki said there had been a rearrangement of responsibilities, which he described as a normal process. Following reports that Karki had been running the CIAA even after his suspension with the help of the loyalists he had appointed, the new leadership under Basnyat removed nine advisors effective from November 2.
According to the CIAA spokesperson, four legal experts—Komal Ghimire, Bal Chandra Acharya, Karunakar Mallik and Bhanubhakta Pokharel—were relieved from their duties. Senior police officers appointed as crime experts including retired Senior Superintendent of Police Gobardhan Shrestha, retired Superintendent of Police Bharat Raj Sharma and retired Deputy Superintendent of Police Madhav Khatri were removed.
Ten personnel including five assigned at Lokman’s personal secretariat were sent back to the Nepal Police headquarters. According to officials, Basnyat has shut the secretariat of the suspended chief commissioner.