Court sentensed Paudel nine-year jail term

NL Today

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Kathmandu: On Tuesday, the Special Court handed down a nine-year jail term and Rs230 million fine on former managing director of Nepal Telecom Sunil Paudel for corruption while procuring the National Payment Gateway system.

The division bench of Special Court Chairperson Tek Narayan Kunwar and member Murari Babu Shrestha was also ordered to recover the misused amount from him.

On April 19, the bench convicted Paudel of causing losses to the state coffers and misusing government funds. The court had scheduled a hearing on Tuesday to determine the punishment. He has been sent to Dillibazar prison following the court’s order.

Paudel was charged as per Section 17 of the Prevention of Corruption Act of 2002.

Section 17 states that whoever, being a public servant, misappropriates, causes loss to, abuses, or causes others to do so, or destroys or uses for personal purposes while performing his or her duties pertaining to his or her office, shall be liable to be punished pursuant to Section 3, and the property that has been misappropriated, damaged, misused, destroyed, or caused others to do so shall be recovered from him or her.

In the verdict, the court acquitted eight other accused, including government secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini.

On October 2, 2023, the CIAA filed a corruption case against nine people, including Paudel and Marasini, in the National Payment Gateway purchase case.

The anti-graft body had accused them of causing loss to the state coffers and misusing government funds by purchasing the system for Rs 250 million without preparing the necessary infrastructure and approving an unreasonable high estimate for the system purchase.

The court’s findings showed that the defendant’s failure to fulfill his responsibility and put the software to proper use had caused financial loss to the government.