Nepal: Lalita Niwas Land Grab Scam

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A Nepali Times editorial suggested that the year 2023 be called the Year of Scandals in Nepal. The Lalita Niwas land case has been identified as one of the most prominent corruption cases in Nepal, involving big politicians such as “such as NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel and former Prime Ministers Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Baburam Bhattarai and Madhav Kumar Nepal”.

More details of the case can be found in the onlineKhabar‘s article, Explained: What is Lalita Niwas land case all about?. The Wikipedia also provides a quick overview of the case.

Lalita Niwas land grab scam or Lalita Niwas land scam (Nepali: ललिता निवास प्रकरण) is a scam where the land ownership of government owned Lalita Niwas which houses the Official Residence of the Prime Minister of Nepal, central office of the Nepal Rastra Bank and other VIP residences, was illegally transferred by land brokers to big business groups of Nepal through collusion with land revenue officials, ministers, political leaders and secretaries at various ministries of Nepal. The land involved in the land grab scam was 114 ropanis which amounted to billions of Nepalese rupees.

– Wikipedia

More than 300 high-profiled individuals, including prominent politicians, have been charged with falsifying documents in the land rip-off.

A special court recently delivered its verdict on the case, which included many high profile politicians and bureaucratic circles of Nepal, including many government officials. However, some ministers were reportedly acquitted due to the lack of evidence.

The legal proceedings, which began in earnest with corruption charges filed against 175 individuals by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority in February 2020, have witnessed several twists and turns. Notably, former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai were spared from implication, despite their tenures coinciding with decisions related to the illicit transfer of government land into private ownership. The constitutional anti-graft body cited the Cabinet’s jurisdiction over policy decisions as the reason for their exclusion from the investigation.

EPardafas

Additional details on the court verdict can be found in this recent myRepublica article.

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