The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has lodged corruption case against 175 individuals including Nepali Congress (NC) Vice-president and former deputy prime minister Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, two other former ministers and its former chief Deep Basnet in Baluwatar land grab.
The CIAA confirmed that the corruption case has been taken to the Special court Wednesday.
Gachchhadar, Dambar Shrestha and Chandra Dev Joshi are the former ministers to have been charged of corruption in the case. Former CIAA chief Basnet has been charged as former secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Planning.
Former secretary Dinesh Hari Adhikari has also been charged in the corruption case.
Shobha Kanta Dhakal and Ram Prasad Subedi, identified as land mafia by the Sharada Prasad Trital probe committee, and owner of Bhatbhateni Supermarket Chain Min Bahadur Gurung have also been charged in the case.
Rukma Shumsher Rana, son of Subarna Shumsher Rana, and almost 170 others including fake tenants have also been accused in the case.
The probe committee formed by the government under former secretary Sharada Prasad Trital had submitted the report to the government in December 2018 concluding that the land transferred to individuals in Baluwatar belonged to the government.
The committee's report states that the government land inside Lalita Residence reached to different individuals due to Cabinet decisions under many prime ministers. It has recommended that the land should be taken back by revoking a few of those Cabinet decisions.
Gachchhadar as physical infrastructure and planning minister had taken the proposal for expansion of the prime minister's official residence in Baluwatar to the Cabinet. The Cabinet decision also facilitated the land grab.
He has refuted corruption allegations in the past and claimed that the proposal was taken completing due procedures.
CPN General Secretary Bishnu Paudel has also been dragged in the scam as eight annas of grabbed land (plot number 309 and 3015) has been transferred to his son from Uma Dhakal and Madhavi Subedi, wives of Shobha Kanta Dhakal and Ram Prasad Subedi identified as land mafia by the Trital committee.
Some CPN leaders citing the then prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal have told Setopati that Paudel facilitated Cabinet decisions to provide grounds for the land grab and had even arranged donation of Rs 40 million to the party in return for the decisions.
The committee stated that the then king Mahendra after the coup in 1961 had confiscated 14 ropanis land of Nepali Congress leader Suvarna Shumsher Rana and his father Kanchan Shumsher in Baluwatar. The government four years later acquired 285 ropanis of Rana's land in Baluwatar by paying compensation.
The PM's residence, chief justice's residence, speaker's residence and the central office of Nepal Rastra Bank are currently situated in 172 ropanis out of that 285 ropanis. Land mafia in connivance with staffers at the Land Revenue Office has transferred ownership of the remaining 113 ropanis of land to different individuals, the committee has concluded.
The land owned by Paudel is out of that 113 ropanis.