Supreme Court opens door to investigate against two former prime ministers

The decision paves the way for authorities to investigate Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai in the Lalita Niwas land scam.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The Supreme Court on Sunday issued a ruling mandating an investigation into the alleged Lalita Niwas land scam involving two former prime ministers–Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai.

A division bench of justices Anil Kumar Sinha and Dr Kumar Chudal, ordered the  policymakers to also be investigated into the land scam in which 112 Ropanis of government land was transferred in the names of individuals.

Following this order, the authorities can now initiate investigations against Nepal and Bhattarai, both of whom were at the helm of the government during the time when the scam took place.

Nepal held the position of prime minister from May 25, 2009, to February 6, 2011. Similarly, Bhattarai served as prime minister from August 29, 2011, to March 14, 2013. 

On February 5, 2020, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) filed corruption charges against 175 individuals linked to the land grab case. However, despite acknowledging that the decisions to unlawfully transfer government-owned land to private entities were made during their respective terms, the anti-corruption agency refrained from implicating key figures, including former prime ministers Nepal and Bhattarai.