CIAA Files Corruption Case Against Chief Secretary Aryal and 11 Others; Search for New Chief Secretary Begins

Pic credit: Gorkhapatra

KATHMANDU: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed a corruption case against 12 individuals, including Chief Secretary Dr. Baikuntha Aryal. The case, filed on Sunday, involves allegations of corruption related to the printing of excise-duty stickers.

Among those implicated are Ritesh Kumar Shakya, Director General of the Revenue Department, and Tanka Prasad Pandey, Deputy Director General of the Department of Customs. Other defendants include Bikal Paudel, Ganesh Bikram Shah, Bishnu Prasad Gautam, Hari Ballabh Ghimire, and Keshab Sharma.

The CIAA is seeking compensation of Rs 386.7 million from the accused. As a result of the charges, Chief Secretary Aryal has been automatically suspended.

Who Will Be the Next Chief Secretary?

With the corruption case filed against Chief Secretary Aryal, the competition for his successor has begun. The government is considering appointing Lila Devi Gadtaula as the acting chief secretary. Gadtaula, currently serving at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, was promoted to secretary in November 2020 and comes from the judicial group.

Several other candidates are in contention for the position. In order of priority, these include Toya Narayan Gyawali, Ram Krishna Subedi, Dinesh Bhattarai, Tek Narayan Pandey, Madhu Kumar Marasini, and Ek Narayan Aryal.

Gyawali is currently serving in the National Planning Commission, Subedi is in the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Bhattarai is in the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Marasini has recently been transferred to the Ministry of Finance, and Ek Narayan Aryal is leading the Home Administration.

The main competition is believed to be between Subedi and Ek Narayan Aryal, both of whom are favored by the ruling coalition, particularly the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center). Although Gyawali is the top choice based on ranking, he is not favored by the current ruling coalition and will retire on September 7 if not promoted.

Dinesh Bhattarai’s performance at the Ministry of Home Affairs has been deemed unsatisfactory by the government, while Tek Narayan Pandey is suspended due to his involvement in the fake Bhutanese refugee scam. Additionally, a corruption case against Marasini diminishes his chances of being shortlisted.

Fiscal Nepal |
Monday June 24, 2024, 11:03:02 AM |

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