KATHMANDU: The impression of police administration — the custodian of law and order – has been diminishing in the past few years, thanks to the misdemeanor of its personnel.
There have been quite a few glaring instances of police administration failing to carry out its duties, including the Nirmala rape and murder case, and the unsolved mystery in the disappearance of 30 kg of gold.
Added to the list is the recent revelation that more than 300 police personnel, in a bid to get promotion to higher ranks, are found to be indulged in fake certificate scandal.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) filed a case at the Special Court against the assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of police, Hom Bahadur Khadka Chhetri stationed at the Area Police Office Mainapokhari, Bardia on December 9, 2018.
The anti-corruption body alleged Chhetri to have possessed a fake certificate of high school level, which he obtained from the Secondary Education Council in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Police constable Chhetri had presented the fake certificate to get promoted to the post of ASI.
Prior to this, the CIAA had also filed a case against Sub Inspector of Police, Nir Bahadur Adhikari at the District Traffic Police Office on November 5, 2018 alleging him of producing fake educational credentials. A similar case was filed against Technical Sub-Inspector of Police, Ram Bahadur Singh Bhandari Chhetri at Naxal on October 28, 2018.
Both the accused have been alleged to have obtained fake certificates from different universities in India.
During the fiscal year 2017/18, CIAA filed cases against 14 police personnel charging them of possessing fake certificates. Fake certificate scandals have been a regular affair within the police administration.
There are instances of several high-level police officers possessing fake certificates. Even now, there are a number of police officials possessing fake certificate and its tentacles spread to the higher echelon complicating attempts to curb it, according to Rameshwor Dangal, the spokesperson at CIAA.
Unfortunately, Nepal’s Tribhuvan University (TU) has been enmeshed in such scandals in recent times. Gangs thriving on fake certificates are active in different parts of the country, according to Niraj Bahadur Shahi, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) at the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police.
Despite some legal actions, business of fake certificate is thriving due to the lack of stringent criminal law.
Educationist Dr Dip Prakash Bhatta says, “Fake certificate is not only associated with an individual’s career. It does not only tarnish the image of bureaucracy but discourages educated talents. Thus, the offense should be declared a heinous crime with strict penal measures.”