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CASES ALSO FILED AGAINST TWO GOVT SECRETARIES

Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Friday filed corruption case against 23 persons, including two government secretaries and acting CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Subash Nirola, after finding their involvement in financial irregularities worth around Rs 700 million in NTB.

Along with Nirola, CIAA has filed case against Sharad Chandra Poudel, secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Land Conservation; Ranjan Krishna Aryal, secretary of the Law Commission; Dilli Prasad Shivakoti, joint secretary of the Ministry of Finance; Megh Bahadur Pandey, joint secretary of Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation; and Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, director general of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Finance Secretary, Forest Secretary and CAAN DG are ex-officio members in NTB’s executive committee.

As per the existing laws, government officials are automatically suspended once corruption case if filed against them.

Similarly, cases have also been filed against Sushil Ghimire, former tourism secretary and former chairman of executive committee of NTB, executive committee members as well as NTB staffers.

In its charge sheet, CIAA has claimed Nirola was involved in irregularities worth Rs 330 million.

CIAA officials had reached the Special Court premises to register the case on Thursday. But Special Court officials asked them to come on Friday, citing end of office hours.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) had suspended Nirola on October 26 as per the direction of the Public Accounts Committee of legislature-parliament.

According to news reports, cases have been filed against NTB’s Acting CEO Nandini Lahe Thapa, Senior Director Aditya Baral,  directors Hikma Singh Ayer and Kashi Raj Bhandari; Officiating Director Dhruba Rai, senior manager Diwakar Rana, managers Leela Bahadur Baniya and other staff members like Anil Kumar Das and Laxman Gautam among others.

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