The Supreme Court has issued a show cause notice in a habeas corpus petition filed by three people arrested in connection with the Baluwatar land grab scam.
According to the Supreme Court, a single bench of Justice Kumar Chudal issued a show cause notice in the petition on Friday.
Promoter of Bhatbhateni Supermarket Min Bahadur Gurung, former election commissioner Sudheer Kumar Shah and former government employee at Dilli Bazaar Land Revenue Office Dharma Prasad Gautam had filed the habeas corpus petition on Thursday.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police had arrested the three along with Gopal Karki, another government employee at Dilli Bazaar Land Revenue Office, on Tuesday. The Kathmandu District Court remanded them to custody for seven days on Wednesday.
Police had also arrested three others – Kaladhar Deuja, Surendra Man Kapali and Hupendra Mani KC – on Tuesday but they were released later the same day after it emerged that they had obtained stay orders against their arrest.
Deuja was the chief of the Dilli Bazaar Land Revenue Office then, while Gautam, Kapali, Karki and KC were government employees at the Land Revenue Office.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Acharya at the CIB, they are found to have initially transferred 112 ropanis of the land at Baluwatar in their names through forgery of government documents.
Investigations have shown that 29 ropanis of the land have been transferred in the names of Gurung, his family, relatives and his company’s shareholders, Acharya said.
Gurung has been arrested for the second time in connection with the case. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed a corruption case against him at the Special Court charging him with embezzling Rs 392.77 million in the scam. He was released on a bail of Rs 30 million.
Police also arrested Gautam, former section officer at the Land Revenue Office, on the charge of involvement in the scam as investigations have shown three ropanis of land transferred in his name.
They have also found 5 ropani 2 paisa of land transferred in the name of former election commissioner Shah’s wife Urmila.
The CIB has said that 143 ropanis of land on the Lalita Niwas premises at Baluwatar have been transferred illegally in the names of different individuals.
The CIB had submitted its report to the District Government Attorney’s Office (DGAO), Kathmandu, in December 2021 after completing its investigation into the case. But the DGAO had returned the report instructing the CIB to carry out further investigation.