Bhattarai “uncomfortable” CIAA found former ministers guilty but not former PM in Baluwatar scam

Lalita Niwas Land Grab Scam

KATHMANDU, Feb 6: Samajbadi Party Federal Council Chair Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said he is feeling “uncomfortable” the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) filed a charge sheet against former ministers but spared former Prime Minister and ruling Nepal Communist Party senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal in the Lalita Niwas land grab scam.

After the CIAA on Wednesday filed case against 175 individuals including Nepali Congress Vice-President and former Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, former ministers Chandra Dev Joshi, Chhabiraj Pant and Dambar Shrestha charging them of illegally transferring the land in Baluwatar to the name of various private owners, Dr. Bhattarai took to twitter to express his discomfort.

“I welcome the CIAA move but it is full of errors and incompleteness. I feel uncomfortable that the anti-graft body has found former ministers guilty but not former PMs,” said Bhattarai.

Gachhadar was the Physical Planning minister under the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led government and Basnyat the secretary at his ministry when the land was transferred to various individuals and fake tenants.

But the CIAA has said that the cabinet decisions—which paved way for the illegal transfer of the Lalita Niwas land in private ownership—could not be investigated as these do not fall under their jurisdiction.

The CIAA also filed a case against former secretary Dinesh Hari Adhikari, Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket owner Min Bahadur Gurung, businessman Shobhakanta Dhakal and other individuals. However, ruling Nepal Communist Party General Secretary Bishnu Paudel and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kumar Justice Kumar Regmi were untouched because, according to the anti-graft body, they have promised to return the land.