The Special Court has convicted a lawmaker of the Nepali Congress, Tek Bahadur Gurung, along with nine others, in a corruption case.
Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) filed a case against 14 people, on February 2019, accusing them of not following legal procedure while renting 60 ropani land on Fun Park at Bhrikuti Mandap and offering the land on incredibly cheaper rent.
The court, however, acquitted 5 defendants – former treasurer of Social Welfare Council Ratna Gaha Magar, former SWC director Madan Prasad Rimal, former SWC deputy director Bal Bahadur Swar, former legal advisers of SWC Prem Singh Dhami and Jagadev Chaudhary from the charge.
Meanwhile, a bench of Chair of Special Court Shree Kanta Paudel, justices Shaligram Koirala and Balbhadra Bastola convicted lawmaker Gurung for his role as an accomplice in the case. The court will conduct a hearing on March 9 to decide the punishment.
On September 2012, a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Social Welfare Council (SWC) awarded the contract to Rabindra Gurung to run Fun Park for a monthly rent of Rs 555,000 (inclusive of all taxes) for 15 years.
CIAA had shown concern as the government contract rules require a contract to be awarded through a tender process, but they did not comply with this provision.
Also, the contract for 15 years was awarded for a very low amount as Icchumati Vegetable Market, near Bhrikuti Mandap was awarded the contract for a rent of Rs 78,571 per ropani land, while Fun Park land was rented for only Rs 9,250 per month – much lower price compared to the market rate.
Therefore, CIAA has sought to recoup Rs 315.2 million from primary 7 defendants – including former minister Neupane, and operators of Bhrikuti Mandap Fun Park Tek Bahadur Gurung and Rabindra Gurung – to bear the loss for government funds.