Matatirtha land grab: After Baluwatar, govt prepares to probe another key corruption case

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addresses the House of Representatives on Saturday, February 15, 2020.

Kathmandu, February 17

After a government-commissioned team’s investigations into the illegal transfer of various land plots in Baluwatar of Kathmandu led to the indictment of 175 former and current political and bureaucratic officials, landowners and middlemen, the government is preparing to launch another probe into a similar kind of incident.

As Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli announced that the government would soon probe the illegal transfer of land plots in Matatirtha area on the southern outskirts of Kathmandu Valley that belonged to the Nepal Trust to various individuals’ names, concerned officials have also been directed to find records about the decision.

If the government probes the case as the Lalita Niwas case, many defendants of the previous case would reappear in the new case. While the major decision was made on October 18, 2012, Baburam Bhattarai was the prime minister whereas the Land Reform Minister was Chandra Devi Joshi.

Joshi is one of the 175 defendants indicted in the Baluwatar case whereas the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had decided to spare Bhattarai citing it was not authorised to probe a policy decision of the Cabinet.

Likewise, former Land Reform Secretary Dinesh Hari Adhikari, Department of Land Revenue Director General Jit Bahadur Thapa and undersecretary Hupendra Mani KC are also said to be involved in the Matatirtha case. The commission has indicted all three in the Baluwatar case.

Meanwhile, a few land revenue officials, however, have doubted if the Cabinet ever met such a decision as they were not given a copy of it.


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