CIAA-Filed Cases Fall Sharply Following SC Verdict

The Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict that prevented the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) from conducting a sting operation to arrest bribe takers has resulted in a sharp drop of cases filed by the authority charging them with corruption. “We are now unable to arrest bribe takers. So, we are devising new ways to arrest them,” said Narayan Risal, spokesperson for CIAA.
Although the CIAA had been arresting those taking kickbacks through the sting operation according to its rule 30, the authority is planning a new strategy to bring such wrongdoers to justice and control corruption in the process after the verdict, Risal added.
In the sting operation, the CIAA staffers used to offer money to corrupt employees in an attempt to trap and then arrest them red-handed.
Because of its sting operation last fiscal year 2019/20, the CIAA received more corruption-related complaints than in its 30-year history. Of the 441 cases filed by the CIAA, over 50 per cent (277) were red-handed arrests.
Likewise, in the first nine months of the current fiscal year 2020/21, a total of 60 cases relating to red- handed arrest were filed in the Special Court, Risal said. Khem Raj Regmi, former chairperson of Transparency International, Nepal, welcomed the SC’s verdict.
He said that that the CIAA was against the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2059 and that the rule 30 of the act stated that both bribe receiver and provider were criminals.
He said that the CIAA seemed doing many works in an attempt to control corruption but in reality it had been busy arresting bribe takers of a few thousands rupees and that the authority was not investigating into big corruption cases.
“The CIAA isn’t working effectively to control policy as well as political-level corruptions,” he blamed, adding, “The SC’s verdict is a clear message that it shouldn’t turn its blind eyes to corruption stemming from political level, along with policy corruption.”
Surya Nath Upadhyay, former chief commissioner of the CIAA, said though the provision of sting operation made easier for the authority to control corruption, the verdict had now directed it to refrain itself from cheating people.
He suggested the CIAA to look into the big corruption cases now onwards and that if they were investigated, small ones would be controlled automatically.