Supreme Court acquits 16 in license irregularity case « Khabarhub
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Supreme Court acquits 16 in license irregularity case

18 June 2024  

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KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court (SC) has acquitted 16 people, including transportation department employees, who were accused of corruption for allegedly issuing driving licenses through the misuse of the computer system.

A division bench of Justices Sapana Pradhan Malla and Saranga Subedi ruled to acquit all defendants, including Ramdatt Bhatta, the then-acting chief of the Bagmati Transport Management Office.

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had appealed to the Supreme Court after being dissatisfied with the Special Court’s decision to acquit the accused.

However, the Supreme Court upheld the Special Court’s verdict.

In August 2014, the CIAA alleged that employees of the Transport Management Office and intermediaries colluded to issue driving licenses to 197 individuals who had failed the practical exam, by accepting bribes over six months.

The CIAA also claimed that 573 people were irregularly allowed to retake the practical exam within three months, against the rules, and were issued licenses by altering office records and computer data.

Among those, 197 licenses were found to have been issued irregularly.

The CIAA had written to the Department of Transport Management to cancel these licenses.

The corruption case was filed in the Special Court against 16 people, including 7 intermediaries, with a total claim of Rs 5.378 million.

The Special Court acquitted all the accused, citing that since the computer system was not solely under government control, it could not be definitively proven that the licenses were issued by the transport office employees.

Among those facing charges were Ramdatt Bhatta, former acting chief of the Bagmati Transport Management Office, computer engineer Harish Bhatta, branch officers Rameshwar Aryal and Balkumar Khatiwada, computer officer Rajesh Pachhai Maharjan, and computer operators Sanjiv Neupane, Pushkar Chandra Ghimire, and Rajan Babu Rimal.

The CIAA also filed cases against driving school operators Ramesh Tamang, Shumsher Bahadur Thing, Basanta Kumar Karki, Amarmani Baral, Prabhat Pathak, Dadhiram Subedi, and Angdawa Sherpa, accusing them of acting as intermediaries.

Publish Date : 18 June 2024 21:09 PM

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