Former Nepal Telecom MD Sunil Paudel found guilty in national payment gateway system procurement case

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court (SC) has delivered a significant verdict in the National Payment Gateway System procurement case, sentencing former managing director of Nepal Telecom, Sunil Paudel, to nine years in prison and imposing a hefty fine of Rs 232.7 million.

In a ruling issued by the joint bench of Special Court President Tek Narayan Kunwar and Murari Babu Shrestha on Tuesday, Paudel was found guilty of irregularities related to the procurement of the National Payment Gateway System. The court’s verdict, pronounced on April 19, has resulted in Paudel’s immediate imprisonment, with him being transferred to Dillibazar Prison today.

The corruption case against Paudel was initiated by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), which accused him of accumulating Rs 237.5 million in illicit wealth through misuse of his official position. The CIAA’s investigation revealed discrepancies between Paudel’s reported income and his amassed property, leading to the conclusion of illegal wealth acquisition.

Paudel’s arrest on January 24 marked the beginning of a thorough investigation into the allegations against him. However, while Paudel faces severe legal consequences, others involved in the case have been exonerated by the Special Court.

Among those receiving a clean chit from the court are the former Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Sanjay Sharma, the Chairman of National Information Technology Centre, Pranita Upadhyay, and the Director of Centre, Saphal Shrestha.

The verdict marks a significant development in the fight against corruption in Nepal, underscoring the judiciary’s commitment to upholding accountability and transparency in public institutions. As Paudel begins his sentence, the case sets a precedent for stringent enforcement of anti-corruption laws, signaling a clear message to individuals occupying positions of power and authority.

Fiscal Nepal |
Wednesday May 8, 2024, 10:32:27 AM |

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