Supreme Court orders Nepal Police not to probe DIG SilwalThe Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the government to stop probe into Deputy Inspector General of Police Nawaraj Silwal until a case on the Nepal Police chief appointment row is heard on May 2.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the government to stop probe into Deputy Inspector General of Police Nawaraj Silwal until a case on the Nepal Police chief appointment row is heard on May 2.
The apex court directed the government not to subject DIG Silwal to any sort of investigation or interrogation. A full bench argued that the ongoing police probe of DIG Silwal goes against its earlier verdict, deeming it as “illegal and objectionable”.
The SC was referring to its verdict of March 21 that quashed the government’s decision to appoint DIG Jaya Bahadur Chand as the inspector general (IG) while saying that “DIG Silwal has got the highest marks” in performance evaluation among the contenders.
Responding to a writ petition filed by Advocate Purna Prasad Rajbanshi, a full bench of Justices Jagdish Sharma Poudel, Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada and Tej Bahadur KC ruled out any form of police probe into the conduct of Silwal before the May 2 hearing. Advocate Rajbanshi moved the SC on Monday morning claiming that DIG Silwal was detained illegally. Immediately, a single bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki directed the police to present him before the court and release him. Instead, Nepal Police dropped DIG Silwal off at his house. He was taken to hospital immediately for complaints of chest pain. DIG Silwal is still under observation at the Lalitpur-based B&B Hospital for increased blood pressure.
“The way I was treated as a culprit was disheartening. I’ve been part of Nepal Police for the last 29 years and I can confidently say that I’ve performed my best,” said DIG Silwal. “Regarding the charges against me of document forgery or whatever issues, the court is there to decide. I’ve not done anything against the law.”
The Police Headquarters had formed a probe committee led by DIG Bijaya Bhatta to look into the allegation that DIG Silwal forged the performance evaluation form before submitting it to the Supreme Court in a case of seniority. The headquarters on Sunday wrote to the committee to begin its probe.
A Cabinet meeting last week had instructed the police headquarters to investigate into the claims of document forgery and how DIG Silwal got the performance evaluation sheet that is supposed to be one of the most confidential documents.
The controversy over performance evaluation arose after DIG Silwal filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court on April 11, challenging the Cabinet decision to appoint Prakash Aryal as the new IG.
Silwal, in his petition, has argued that there have been irregularities in assessing the performance of the IG candidates. He claimed that the review panel deducted two points from his score to promote Aryal to the post of IG.
To substantiate his claims, DIG Silwal had attached a copy of the evaluation sheet, which remains a highly confidential document.
The court has sought clarification from the government regarding the appointment of Aryal as the new police chief.
Questions raised over similar score
Kathmandu: The evaluation marks of the two senior police officials are found to be similar, according to documents obtained from the Supreme Court.
The scores of DIG Nawaraj Silwal and IG Prakash Aryal submitted to the court are exactly the same. The marks on the second last page and top half of the last page are almost a replica, raising suspicions over a foul play with the documents.
According to the papers, the total marks obtained by the candidates are 40 each. The score of IG Aryal was verified by former AIG Pratap Singh Thapa on August 15, 2016 while the marks of DIG Silwal were attested by AIG Birendra Babu Shrestha on July 31, 2016. Former IG Upendra Kanta Aryal reviewed both the papers on September 1, 2016. It is for this reason that the Cabinet had decided to look into the matter, suspecting wrongdoing by DIG Silwal. Silwal, however, said he had not done anything wrong and has no idea about the marks. Sources at the NP headquarters and the Attorney General’s Office, however, said they are almost sure that DIG Silwal tampered with the marks on the report. They said the government is mulling over filing a case against Silwal on the charge of forging the government seal or signature. (PR)L and some Madhesi parties, however, have been expressing dissatisfaction over the Election Commission’s decision to hold the elections in two phases.