The impeachment recommendation committee of parliament has questioned suspended Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shumsher Rana about his involvement in tender process of the under-construction Supreme Court (SC) building.
Rana has been slammed for awarding contract for the building using non-existent rights.
Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker Min Bishwokarma told Setopati that Rana showed the endorsement letter he wrote to the committee and argued that he endorsed the file as it mentioned that the office chief should approve the file.
Rana revealed that the then prime minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli and Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel helped him in the contract process, according to Bishwokarma. “Finance minister (Bishnu Paudel) is even here. It was successful as he helped. It should normally have been approved by the registrar. But another legal provision mentions office chief and I signed thinking that it meant me,” Bishwokarma quoted Rana as saying.
The contract process has invited controversy and Acting Chief Justice (CJ) Deepak Kumar Karki has already told the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) that it can investigate irregularities in contract process for the under-construction building.
The constitutional anti-graft body had asked the SC about the matter sometime back after receiving complaints about irregularities in the contract process that was finalized Rana was the CJ.
“We had asked the SC about it after receiving complaints. SC registrar sent a letter at that time opining that the CIAA cannot investigate the issue as CJ was involved in the decision,” a CIAA commissioner told Setopati.
The commissioner revealed that the private secretariat of CJ Karki recently wrote to the CIAA asking about the state of investigation in the contract worth Rs 5.587 billion. “Interest has again been showed asking the state of investigation now. We have understood that there are two kinds of position after receiving acting CJ’s letter saying the issue of constructing building is an issue that CIAA should investigate,” the commissioner added.
The SC had given the contract to Kalika Construction and Samanantar Nirman Sewa. The CIAA had received complaints about irregularities in the contract process.