KATHMANDU: The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), which became active after a long gap following the appointment of former Chief Secretary Lokman Singh Karki as its head, has directed the respective authorities to keep an eye on extravagance in social functions and festivities.
The anti-graft body has also directed the general public and government officials to abide by the Social Behavior Reform Act 1976 and not to decrease expenditures in social ceremonies such as marriage, Bartavanda (sacred thread wearing ceremony), birthday, rice feeding and other gatherings. The Act provisions the number of guests for a wedding procession must not exceed 51 and gold offerings to the bride/groom should not exceed 20 grams, among other stipulations.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the CIAA has warned that the violators of the Act will be charged with existing legal provisions. Those going against the Act can be slapped with a fine of Rs 3,000 or imprisoned upto 30 days and any government service holders found breaching it will be liable for departmental action pursuant to the concerned service law, together with the fine and jail term.
Similar kinds of directives had been issued by the earlier governments under Baburam Bhattarai and Pushpa Kamal Dahal. However these directives do not have any effect as the law enforcers are involved in such extravagance.
Meanwhile the CIAA clarified that it was the responsibility of the government to put in place any form of security arrangement for all governmental institutions and officials.
Referring to a news story published on Monday regarding the security arrangement in the CIAA and for the Chief Commissioner of CIAA, the CIAA said it had no role in the deployment of security personnel for its own staff. “The news in question intends to misinterpret the government decision to allocate security personnel allocated for the chief commissioner and other commissioners of the CIAA,” read a statement signed by CIAA Spokesperson Shreedhar Sapkota.
The statement also added that there was no restriction on investigating officers wanting to meet or consult with the chief commissioner in the course of investigation. “Employees at all levels can have an uninterrupted access to the chief commissioner and other commissioners should they need to consult the higher authorities in the course of investigation,” the statement added.
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