Ex-minister Khadka convicted of corruption; supporters protest outside SC

KATHMANDU, AUG 14 – The Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted former minister and Nepali Congress leader Khum Bahadur Khadka on corruption charges and sentenced him to one and half years in prison.

A division bench of SC Justices Kalyan Shrestha and Baidya Nath Upadhyay found Khadka guilty of amassing illegal property by abusing his authority during his various stints in public posts. The court has slapped a fine of Rs 9.4 million and ordered confiscation of property worth the same amount.

Demonstration outside SC

Meanwhile, the supporters of former Minister Khadka staged demonstration against the apex court verdict, chanting slogans and taking to vandalism outside the SC premises.

The agitating supporters burnt tires on the road and vandalised a taxi (Ba 1 Ja 7649) during the protest. The taxi driver, Gopal Tamang, sustained injuries during the vandalism.

Police arrested three persons including the NC-aligned Nepal Student Union cadre Jujhang Sherpa. Vehicular movement in the area was affected due to the protest.

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had moved the apex court in March 2007 challenging the verdict of the Special Court, which gave a clean chit to Khadka on Nov 15, 2006.

The CIAA had claimed in its chargesheet filed at the Special Court in November 2006 that Khadka had amassed property worth Rs 23.6 without a legal source of income.

Khadka had last served as home minister in 2002. He had assumed the charge of different ministries, including home and local development in the post-1990 period. CIAA filed the appeal at the Apex Court against him on March 29, 2007.

The hearing of the case, which reached the court five years ago, had been put off several times.

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