By Purushottam P. Khatri
Kathmandu, Feb.1: The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police has submitted its investigation report on of Lalita Niwas land scam, recommending actions against perpetrators.
Issuing a press statement on Friday, the CIB formally informed that the report was submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Nepal Police Headquarters on Friday.
According to Superintendent of Police and spokesperson at CIB Bel Bahadur Pandey, the report has mainly recommended action under forgery, fraud and corruption charges against those involved in the scam.
“We have basically conducted an investigation on 112 ropanis land area of Lalita Niwas premises, and the illegal processes about how the government land was registered in the name of individuals,” SP Pandey said.
The report has also identified that the land was transferred to individual’s name in collusion with the officials at the land revenue office and other offices.
The report has also recommended the government to begin action of fraud and forgery as per the provision mentioned in the Section 276 of the Civil (Criminal) Code-2017, National Code 1963 and the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002.
The civil servants involved in illegal transfer of the land were recommended for action under Corruption Act. The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority is separately investigating into the case for the past 10 months.
The CIB was given responsibility to investigate into Lalita Niwas land scam on March 12, 2019.
At present, the government has barred transactions of the 112 ropanis (5.69 hectare) of land after it was revealed that all the plots there were transferred illegally by Ram Kumar Subedi, Shova Kanta Dhakal and Min Bahadur Gurung in collusion with officials at Dilli Bazar Land Revenue Office and the District Land Reform and Survey Office.
Meanwhile, MoHA spokesperson and joint secretary Kedarnath Sharma said that he did not know about the information as he was outside the valley on leave.
Although Sharma suggested asking joint-spokesperson of the Ministry Umakanta Adhikrai on the issue, the latter maintained that he was not informed about the report submitted by the CIB. “I can’t speak further on this issue which has not come under my notice,” Adhikari said.
In 1991 Subarna Shumsher’s grandson Rukma Shumsher Rana had filed an application at the Land Revenue Office seeking the return of additional 112 ropanis land (5.69 hectare). The Land Revenue Officer, without informing the government, transferred the demanded land which was under the supervision of Sumer Jung Adda (a ceremonial unit of the Nepali Army) to Subarna Shumsher’s son Rukma Shumsher and grandson Hemdary Sumsher.
The transfer process did not go as swiftly for the Rana family as tenants of the land asked for their shares. They filed a case at the Appellate Court in 1997. The court gave a verdict in the favour of the tenants in 2000 after which the land reached the hands of the ‘land mafia’.
The case went unnoticed for quite a while, however, the controversy resurfaced when Advocate Yubaraj Koirala realised that documents related to the case had gone missing from the Land Revenue Office.
Koirala realised that files with plot numbers (1024 and 1025 in particular) were missing which proved that the government had ‘transferred’ the land it had bought from the Rana family back to the family. He filed a case against the land office. The report has mainly showed involvement of Ram Kumar Subedi, Shova Kanta Dhakal and Min Bahadur Gurung in the illegal transfer of the land.