Forgery charges take center stage as 290 face lawsuit in Lalita Niwas land fraud case

KATHMANDU: The Kathmandu District Government Attorney’s Office (DGAO) has lodged a lawsuit against 290 individuals, which includes four ex-ministers, regarding their involvement in the Lalita Niwas land-grab scandal. The accused are also being sought to provide compensation exceeding Rs 18 billion.

In relation to the ongoing Lalita Niwas case, the Kathmandu District Government Attorney’s Office has resolved to proceed with legal action exclusively on the grounds of document forgery, rather than delving into the intricate web of organized criminal activities connected to the case.

Previously, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) conducted an extensive investigation, examining governmental documents and potential links to organized crime. After meticulously reviewing the investigation report submitted by the CIB, the government attorney’s office has chosen to exclusively focus on pursuing charges related to forgery. The requisite legal proceedings are scheduled to commence in the court shortly.

Based on the CIB report and its corresponding recommendations, individuals such as Ram Kumar Subedi, Madhavi Subedi (his spouse), Shobhakant Dhakal, former Election Commission Commissioner Sudhir Kumar Shah, ex-Ward Secretary of Kathmandu Ward-5 Shivaji Bhattarai, and former Director General of the Land Reforms and Law Department Rudra Kumar Shrestha have been identified as potential defendants.

Moreover, the report suggests considering certain individuals, including former Minister for Physical Planning and Construction Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, former state minister Sanjay Shah, former land reforms ministers Chandra Dev Joshi and Dambar Shrestha, among others. Former chief commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Deep Basnyat, along with secretaries Chabi Raj Panta, Dinesh Hari Adhikari, Yubaraj Bhusal, Narayan Gopal Malego, and Rabindra Man Joshi, have also been put forth as prospective defendants in the case.

Krishna Bahadur Raut, a secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, will also face prosecution. The District Government Attorney’s Office (DGAO) has chosen to include Raut as a defendant, despite the prior decision by CIB not to do so.

According to the DGAO, Raut has been formally designated as a defendant and the case has been submitted for registration at the Kathmandu District Court. The DGAO has now initiated legal proceedings against a total of 290 individuals, including Raut, as the accused parties.

Upon submission of the investigative report to the District Attorney’s Office, the CIB recommended that the government pursue charges against 238 individuals, encompassing four former ministers and six former secretaries, in relation to the Lalita Niwas land-grab scheme.

Fiscal Nepal |
Monday August 28, 2023, 09:38:59 AM |

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