KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress leader and former minister Khum Bahadur Khadka, who was convicted of corruption by the Supreme Court on August 14, is planning to surrender tomorrow.
The apex court on August 14 had slapped an 18-month jail term and Rs 9.4 million fine on Khadka for amassing wealth disproportionate to his legitimate income sources during his tenure as minister several times in the past.
“As I am a democrat, I respect the court and will present myself before the court tomorrow to face the sentence,” Khadka told reporters at his residence today. He, however, accused Justice Kalyan Shrestha and Baidhyanath Upadhaya, who had decided on Khadka’s graft case, of being bias against him. “They did injustice to me,” said Khadka. “I will, however, file a review petition to challenge the verdict.”
Khadka’s close aide and NC mahasamiti member from Morang, Ramesh Junj Rayamajhi, said NC cadres from across the country have collected money for Khadka’s fine. Khadka will appear in court tomorrow with the fine, he said.
A team of defence lawyers comprising Sher Bahadur KC, Pushpa Bhushal and Yogendra Bahadur Adhikary had been in constant touch with Khadka to advise him on his further steps, which included abiding by the court verdict and filing a review petition.
The Congress central committee also had decided that Khadka should file a review petition to challenge the verdict. NC cadres are already up in arms to protest the court decision to sentence Khadka, as part of which NC’s youth wings today had called Rapti Zone bandh.
One of Khadka’s counsels told this daily that Khadka would respect the court verdict and appear in court in person to face the jail sentence as he would try to seek alternative legal remedies. According to him, Khadka is ready to go to jail as per the court order. “It took him a week to surrender because he had to go for health check-up and make other preparations,” he said.
If Khadka surrenders tomorrow, he will get 20 per cent discount on jail term as well as fine as per Section 42 of Punishment and Fine Chapter of Muluki Ain.
Chief of Kathmandu District Court Judgment Execution Section, Punaram Khanal, said the court is waiting Khadka’s voluntary attendance in the court as per the Supreme Court verdict. “It is up to him whether he files a review petition or not,” said Khanal. “Our concern is verdict execution only. The verdict execution process will take its own course even if he does not surrender.”THT